Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx, 'We're New Here' (XL/Young Turks)

7
We're New Here
Critical Mass
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Label: XL/Young Turks

by Marc Hogan

Hip-hop godfather Gil Scott-Heron was 2010's comeback kid, but his I'm New Here was remarkable for the former Rikers inmate's grizzled reflections more than its eclectically rootsy sonics. London up-and-comers the xx won 2010's Mercury Prize, but their debut seduced primarily through Jamie Smith's skeletal, intimate electronics. So strength meets strength on this unusual album-length remix, as Smith's skittering beats and ghostly soul divas put Scott-Heron right where he belongs: in the future. See especially "My Cloud," a former bonus track turned powerful electro-R&B lullaby.

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