Album: Soweto Kinch, The New Emancipation (Kinch Recordings)

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The Independent Culture

Saxophonist Kinch is an engaging performer with an enviable social and intellectual reach (Ellington, Madlib and Delius are his touchstones here, along with worksongs and early blues), but this third album once again falls into the "promising" category rather than delivering a truly convincing musical message.

The hip-hop elements can sound thin and weedy, the raps too callow, and the social-realist aesthetic overly simplistic. One great song, the fragile love ballad "Help", shows us what we're missing.