Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CD Review: A Tribe Called Quest Celebrates 25 Years Of "People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm"

Back in 1990, a hip-hop group came onto the music scene and would forever change the way beats and rhythms are combined to make something special. The group was A Tribe Called Quest, which consisted of Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaeed Muhammad and Jarobi (who would leave the group after their debut album). These four individuals would create some of the most memorable rhymes and blaze a trail in the hip-hop genre that many would follow. Their debut album "People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm" was a breath of fresh air when it was originally released. The music would combine elements of jazz, rock and funk to give their songs a smooth, laid back appeal to a wider audience.
 
Beginning the album with "Push It Along," the Tribe sound instantly grabs hold of you. Their lyrics were simple stories that were easy enough for anyone to follow as they hid different elements of inspiration within their songs. The horns of "Luck Of Lucien" brought seventies funk into the nineties and "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo" was a folk-tellers story laid upon up-tempo beats highlighted by shots of an acoustic guitar. The combination of Q-Tip and Phife on vocals was the perfect contrast in styles as each brought out the strength of the other. The highest charting single from the album was "Bonita Applebum," another great lyrical story that has you locked into the song's undeniable rhythm. Their music was always inviting you to sing along as with the playful "Ham 'N' Eggs," but the closer, "Description Of A Fool" was the hidden gem on this release as it finished the album with the classic disco vibe that showcased the talents of DJ Ali Shaeed Muhammad.
 
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of this album, Legacy Recordings released a newly remastered edition of the album with three bonus new remixes. Grammy award winning engineer Bob Power went back to the original tapes to remaster the album. The clarity that is delivered on this new release is amazing as this album has never sounded better as 25 years of technology was put to good use in bringing out the best in the music produced on this album. Included with the original songs are three new bonus remixes done by some of today's biggest names in hip-hop/pop music today. CeeLo Green takes on "Footprints," giving it smoother backdrop while the energetic rhyming of Q-Tip gets highlighted. Hot producer Pharrell Williams gives "Bonita Applebaum" a facelift as the beats have a modern spacey flavor and J Cole adds his special touch to "Can I Kick It?" To find out more about the new anniversary release of "People's Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm," please visit atribecalledquest.com/atcq25.

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