Ethel Bobcat, the first album from the hip hop duo known as &More (rapper Chill Moody & vocalist Donn T.) comes out on April 5th. For many people it might end up being the soundtrack for the summer of 2019. In any case, it’s one of those increasingly rare albums that should appeal across generations of hip hop listeners (and fans of R&B), recognizable and nostalgic for those who grew up with the music in the 80s, and relevant to today’s massive audiences. Melodic, funky, & conscious, &More casts a backward glance to Sly & the Family Stone and embraces nearly everything since, especially 80s & 90s British neo soul and its American counterparts. Depending on the track, Donn T’s vocals evoke Roberta Flack or Caron Wheeler, while Chill Moody’s style hearkens back to Eric B and PRT-era Wise Intelligent. An old school vibe permeates the sound - imagine if you will a mash-up of Poor Righteous Teachers and Loose Ends, spiked with a bit of Public Enemy. (Chuck D introduces the album’s final cut, “Whoa”).

Benjamin ThomasComment