It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 15 years since The Budos Band released its debut album and 20 years since the creation of the collective. In the years since the group’s formation, its blend of hip-hop sensibilities and African-influenced sounds have come to builds quite the fan base with each year’s passing and each album’s release. Early this month, the band continued building that reputation with the release of its sixth album Long in the Tooth. Considering what the phrase “long in the tooth means” it is a fitting title for this latest offering from the band. That is because this 11-song record proves the band is anything but long in the tooth. The musical arrangements that make up the record’s body go a long way to support the noted statements. They will be discussed shortly. In direct relation to the arrangements, the sequencing of those arrangements also plays into the album’s success. It will be discussed a little later. The production of The Budos Band’s new album rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this record. All things considered, they make Long in the Tooth proof that The Budos Band will not grow long in the tooth for a long time.
The Budos Band’s latest full-length studio recording is a fittingly titled presentation from the veteran collective. It is a record that proves this band still has plenty to offer, as is proven in large part through its musical arrangements. The arrangements take the band’s familiar stylistic approach, fusing its horns, drums and guitars with a specific secondary element to make the songs in whole unique in their own right. This time out, the band opted to focus primarily on crafting more hip-hop oriented works, where in its past records, its members have collectively composed works that add in elements of rock and R&B, as well as some jazz. Even more interesting is that the hip-hop-infused works also couples in some familiar sounds late in this record in the form of ‘The Wrangler.’ The arrangement here conjures thoughts of the original James Bond theme song with its elements of surf rock and modern jazz. It is a nice change of pace for the group in this latest outing. Just as interesting to note here is the gangster rap-style arrangement featured in ‘Haunted Sea’ through the use of the beats and bass line. Yes, there’s more rap/hip-hop influence here, but it definitely stands out from the rest of the arrangements. This is important to note because while yes, it was more hip-hop and rap in what is an overall album that is full of hip-hop and rap-infused arrangements, but it is unlike the rest of the arrangements that are featured in this record. Each song that is featured throughout the 32-minute record is different from its counterparts. That is so important to note because it means audiences get something different from one song to the next in terms of the songs’ sounds. That constant change in sound leads to an examination of a related topic, the record’s sequencing.
The sequencing of The Budos Band’s new album is so important because of its connection to the arrangements. Listeners take note that, again, this record runs 11 songs deep and 32 minutes. The arrangements’ constant change but constant energy keeps things so interesting from beginning to end. Thirty-two minutes is not a long run time for a full-length album. What’s important about this is that even with such a relatively short run time, the band really makes the album feel so full thanks to the arrangements and the sequencing thereof. The sounds in the album’s songs change just enough from one to the next while the energies remain just stable enough throughout. The album ends before listeners realize it as a result of this aspect, but that is not a bad thing here. Keeping that in mind, the sequencing proves just as much a positive to its presentation as its arrangements. It still is not the last of the album’s most notable elements. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production featured in Long in the Tooth is so important to examine because of the very mass of music that comes from the group. As noted, there are horns in this collective. There are guitars. There are drums. There are keyboards, and even some electronics. With so much going on in each arrangement, it means that a lot of work had to be put in to make sure every element was balanced. Those painstaking efforts paid off, too. Case in point is the way in which the keyboards were placed so subtly against the horns and equally subtle guitars in ‘Dusterado.’ The nuances of the keyboards, guitar and drums against the horns, which get the spotlight here creates such a strong impact here. ‘Haunted Sea’ is another way in which the painstaking efforts to balance the songs’ instrumentation paid off. The use of the congas and drums is there but just enough while the horns once again shine. The guitars put the last accent to the song. ‘Renegade,’ which closes out the album, is yet another way in which the production paid off. This song presents what is essentially a wall of sound through most of its three-minute-plus run time. More than halfway through the song, things change and that wall of sound to something far more subtle and reserved. The juxtaposition of the two sounds is so stark, yet so powerful because it was handled so well by those behind the boards. Between that aspect and the production used in the other noted songs and the rest of the album’s works, the production has an undeniably positive impact on this record’s presentation. When that impact is considered alongside the record’s sequencing and arrangements, the album proves to be an enjoyable return for The Budos Band.
The Budos Band’s latest full-length studio recording Long in the Tooth is a strong return for the veteran music collective. It is a work that is certain to appeal equally to the band’s established fan base and those who might be less familiar with the group and is body of work. The arrangements that make up the body of the album support the noted statement in their own way, as does the sequencing of those songs. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements, as it shows that a lot of time and effort was put into balancing out every element within the songs. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the record’s production. All things considered, they make Long in the Tooth more proof that The Budos Band is anything but long in the tooth. Long in the Tooth is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.