Infectious Beats, Hard-Hitting Lyrics Make Free Radicals’ New Album Well Worth Hearing

Courtesy: Free Rads Music

Two years after the release of its then latest album, White Power Outage, music collective Free Radicals has released that record’s companion album, White Power Outage Vol. 2.  Released April 8, the 25-song (yes, 25 songs) record proves itself a successful new offering from the group.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the musical content makes for its own interest and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production 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 White Power Outage Vol. 2 another positive new offering from Free Radicals.

White Power Outage Vol. 2, the latest offering from Free Radicals, is another positive offering from the group that will engage and entertain the group’s established audiences, as well as a wide range of rap fans.  That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements.  From beginning to end, the compositions are mostly rap and hip-hop style compositions whose beats are completely infectious. The use of the horns and occasional R&B style vocals cross with those hip-hop elements to make the whole so enjoyable.  There are some full songs and some that are instrumentals tossed in for good measure, too.  Sometimes modern, other times a throwback and others still, a blend of both, the arrangements are comparable to works from the likes of Jurassic 5, Mos Def, and at times, Public Enemy, the arrangements are so funky and friendly to the ears.

The engagement and entertainment that the album’s musical content is sure to generate means, too, that audiences are certain to pay close attention to the record’s lyrical themes just as much.  Throughout the course of the record’s hour-plus run time (one hour 16 minutes to be exact), the themes are all socially and politically conscious.  The group pulls no punches, going after Democrats and Republicans alike, and pretty much all of the powers that be.  It really is content that will appeal to fans of acts, such as Run The Jewels and Public Enemy.  The album’s very lead single, ‘Bipartisan Baby Jail’ goes after Vice President Kamala Harris, comparing her to Donald Trump for comments she made during a visit to America’s southern border, where children were being detained in facilities there.  So right there, the group goes after both sides.  In another song, ‘If You Don’t Vote For Me, You’re Not White’ the group goes after President Biden for comments he made during the 2020 election about black voters and whether they were voting for him.  ‘America’s Blues,’ which comes a little later in the album, is a direct commentary about the oppression that African-Americans have experienced throughout America’s history.  ‘Other Holocausts’ is a direct discussion on the mistreatment of so many minority groups by Americans of European history throughout history.  It is a discussion that many will find uncomfortable, but to that end, it is also needed and just one more of so many hard-hitting topics that fill out the album.  From the Native Americans wiped out by Americans of European descent, to the centuries of mistreatment of African-Americans by whites throughout history, to the killing of innocent people overseas as a result of wars waged by Americans and even the KKK and Proud Boys and their racist actions, the lyrical themes that make up the body of this new record do just as much to keep this record engaging and entertaining as the album’s musical content.  When the album’s musical and lyrical content is collectively considered, the whole of that material gives audiences all the more reason to take in this record.

Working with the record’s content is the production thereof.  The production brings out the best elements of the arrangements and even the vocals therein.  The beats are just subtle enough at some points, and stronger at others, complimenting the vocals and other instruments in each composition.  Whether it be the horns in some songs, or the steady rapping, or the beats themselves, each part of each song expertly compliments its fellow parts throughout.  The end result is a general effect that makes the album just as engaging and entertaining as the record’s content.  When that content is considered along with the record’s production, the whole makes White Power Outage a record that easily makes itself worth hearing at least once.

White Power Outage Vol. 2, the latest album from Free Radicals, is a hard-hitting presentation that is sure to get plenty of attention among audiences and critics alike.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements.  Largely rap style works, the arrangements present beats that are completely engaging and entertaining.  The lyrical themes that accompany those immersive arrangements add their own interest because of their hard-hitting content.  It goes without saying that the content presented in the themes is true, many might find it militant at the level of Public Enemy.  That is sure to cause the overall lyrical content to be very divisive and in turn quite engaging.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  It just means it will bring that much more attention to the record.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements, ensuring the most impacting general effect.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of White Power Outage Vol. 2.  All things considered, they make the album one of the best of the year’s new rap albums.

White Power Outage Vol. 2 is available through Free Rads Music. More information on the album is available online now along with all of Free Radicals’ latest news and more at:



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Free Radicals At The Top Of Its Game On Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Free Radicals

Well…that didn’t take long.  Almost eight months after it released its most recent album Outside The Comfort Zone, independent funk/jazz instrumental act Free Radicals is set to release its next recording, No State Solution.  Currently set for release this Friday, No State Solution is another engaging and entertaining offering from the Houston, Texas-based band.  It is everything that audiences have come to expect from the group, as is evidenced right from the album’s outset.  That upbeat, socially conscious work will be discussed shortly.  ‘Screaming,’ which comes later in the album’s 71-minute run is another standout entry included in the album that is certain to appeal to the group’s longtime fans.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Cheeto News Coma,’ is the album’s shortest track, but is also one of its most engaging arrangements, too.  To that end, it is one more song that shows how much this record has to offer.  All three songs noted here to plenty to show why listeners across the board will appreciate this latest effort from Free Radicals.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s many songs (in all, the album boasts 25 songs), the whole proves to be a record that is easy on the ears and sure to be a hit for any listener.

Free Radicals’ new extensive 25-song, 71-minute album No State Solution is another appealing offering from the veteran independent jazz/funk outfit.  That is because yet again, the Houston, Texas-based group has crafted a full-length album whose arrangements do an expert job of keeping listeners engaged while also getting listeners thinking.  This is proven right from the outset in the album’s opener and title track.  In the case of this song, it is listed additionally as Lacandon Remix ft. Marcos.  In regards to its musical arrangement, this song does a wonderful job of bridging the funk sounds of the 1960s and 70s with a more modern sound that, in the end, proves wholly infectious.  That is thanks to the balance of the horns, hand percussion (or what sounds like hand percussion), keyboards and other elements.  Listeners will be pleased in hearing the solid balance of each element here.  The balance in the song’s arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out.  It doesn’t take a close listen to realize the celebratory vibe in the arrangement.  That vibe is a great compliment to the song’s simple, straight forward lyrical message.  That message is one of unity.  The vocalist speaks in straight forward fashion here, “No state solution…we’re supposed to find the solution for ourselves…One world…one human race.”  There are other things said along the way, but without a lyrics sheet to reference, it is tough to figure out what exactly is being said.  Enough is under stood though, that the message becomes clear.  We must celebrate unity and the fact that we are first and foremost all part of the human race.  There is no one state solution, two state solution or even three state solution.  We have got to learn to unite.  That positive message and equally positive vibe collectively do plenty to get listeners’ attention and to keep it.  With any luck, listeners will take the message and emotion to heart and spread that message.  Now having noted this, ‘No State Solution’ is just one of the songs that shows why this record is another positive effort from Free Radicals.  ‘Screaming,’ which comes later in the album’s run is another key addition to the album.

‘Screaming’ is a fitting title for itself.  That is because while it lacks any lyrical content, its arrangement speaks loud and clear.  The absolutely wailing saxophones come across with full aggression, sounding just like someone screaming in anger and frustration.  The drums keep the song moving with their hip-hop vibe.  The bass adds one more touch to the arrangement that, when joined with the noted elements, creates a certain sense of controlled chaos.  There is no doubt that controlled chaos was fully intended even as the song enters its “B” section.  The manic energy in that section builds on the sharp emotion in the “A” section, ensuring even more listeners’ maintained engagement.  Considering that this album is coming along amidst one of America’s most turbulent times, the immediate thought that comes to mind is the protests that have arisen as a result of the nation’s shootings, the controversies caused by Donald J. Trump and so much more.  The up and down of the sections as it goes from “A” to “B” and back to “A” makes the song (and its seeming message) hit even harder.  Keeping this in mind, the whole of the song shows easily why it, too is such an important addition to No State Solution.  It still is not the last of the album’s most important entries.  ‘Cheeto News Coma,’ which comes even later in the record’s run is yet another key entry.

‘Cheeto News Coma’ pretty much speaks for itself just in its title.  There is little, if any, doubt as to what this short opus is about.  This is 53-seconds of pure musical chaos.  It’s controlled chaos, but chaos nonetheless.  In the less than one-minute run here, one can see the different channels flashing footage of the so-called commander-in-chief and his antics.  The end result is the constant onslaught just putting people in a “coma” so to speak because it’s so overwhelming.  This is clear in the loud, raucous drumming set alongside the wild sax playing and bass line.  The quick jolt from the flute at the end is a solid final statement about the impact of the impact of that constant barrage of news.  All in all, it is a great, original way to address the 24/7 coverage of the giant cheeto in charge.  When the seeming message delivered here through this quick arrangement is considered along with the arrangements in the previously noted songs and even the rest of the songs not noted here, the whole of the album is certain to not only entertain listeners but definitely keep them engaged, too.  To that end, No State Solution proves in the end to be a record that will be a hit with any listener.

Free Radicals’ latest full-length studio recording No State Solution is a strong new effort from the independent jazz/funk outfit that is certain to appeal to any listener.  As has been discussed here, that is proven in part through the album’s upbeat, socially conscious opener/title track.  The positive vibes in the song’s arrangement couple with the positive lyrical theme to make it a strong, solid start to the album.  ‘Screaming’ wonderfully emulates the frustration that must be felt by Americans as a result of shootings, political madness and so much more.  ‘Cheeto News Coma’ speaks for itself.  The controlled chaos in the song’s arrangement illustrates so well the chaos of trying to escape the constant barrage of news on a certain figure.  Between those songs and the others not directly noted here, the whole of No State Solution is a record that proves to be just as solid of an effort as the band’s previous albums.  It will be available this Friday.  More information on No State Solution is available online now along with all of Free Radicals’ latest news and more at:








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International Collective’s Joint Album Tops Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New World Music Albums List

Courtesy: World Circuit

World Music, it seems, is one of the most under appreciated genres in the vast universe of music.  That at least seems to be the case among American audiences.  Hopefully this critic is wrong in that interpretation.  Yet, when one looks at the fact that most World Music is relegated to public radio stations instead of having any major mainstream presence, one can’t help but think that it is not one of the most commercially accepted genres.  Ironically, those who give World Music a chance will find that it is in fact quite the interesting realm, as has been proven again by this year’s new field of World Music offerings.

This year has seen a wide array of interesting new World Music albums.  From South America to Africa to the Middle East and even to Spain, the World Music Realm has produced albums from around the globe that deserve at least one listen if not more.  Topping this year’s list of the best new World Music offerings is Ladilikan, the most recent recording from Mali-based Trio Da Kali.  Joining the group on the new album is the famed American string group Kronos Quartet.  The arrangements created by this collective are works that simply must be heard to be fully appreciated.  Also included in this year’s list are new compilations from Putumayo World Music featuring Italian and Cuban selections alongside Argentinian artist Fer Isella’s new album The Art of the Possible among others.

As with every one of this critic’s previous lists, this collection features this critic’s Top 10 Best New Albums in their category, with five additional honorable mention titles.  That brings the count to 15 total.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New World Music albums.

  1. Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet — Ladilikan
  2. Red Baraat — Bhangra Pirates
  3. Music Action Ensemble — Foundation
  4. Fer Isella — The Art of the Possible
  5. Synthesize The Soul — Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From The Cape Verde Islands 1973 – 1988
  6. Las Cafeteras — Tastes Like L.A.
  7. Putumayo World Music Presents — Cuba! Cuba!
  8. Putumayo World Music Presents — Classic Italia
  9. Battle of Santiago — La Migra
  10. Ani Cordero — Querido Mundo
  11. Jenny & The Mexicats — Open Sea
  12. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society — Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society
  13. Free Radicals — Outside The Comfort Zone
  14. Tamikrest — Kidal
  15. Tinariwen — Elwan

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