B, ‘Jesus’ (Nature Sounds)
Since earning XXL “Top Ten Freshmen” status on the heels of 2007’s much-loved Below the Heavens, Blu has reverted to “freelease” material, like this spring’s Her Favorite Colo(u)r, and now Jesus, which approximates Madlib’s affinity for classic-soul excavations and enigmatic weed hallucination. Blu (a.k.a. B) is a magnificent lyricist, trading darts with Planet Asia and Killa Ben on the Alchemist-helmed “Doowhop.” But mostly he doodles, often amid his own odd self-produced tracks. “I was six when I played Jesus / Nowadays I could play a demon,” he declares cryptically over the title track’s Madlib beat. Blu seems content to continue wandering, leaving fans to wonder if he’s got any idea where he’s going.