VA - Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone (2015) Flac/Mp3


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VA - Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone (2015) Flac/Mp3
VA - Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone (2015) Flac/Mp3
XLD Rip | FLAC (tracks+log+.cue) - 471 Mb | MP3 CBR 320 kbps - 175 Mb | 01:15:47
R'n'B, Soul, Funk | Label: Revive Music

VA - Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone (2015) Flac/Mp3
VA - Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone (2015) Flac/Mp3
XLD Rip | FLAC (tracks+log+.cue) - 471 Mb | MP3 CBR 320 kbps - 175 Mb | 01:15:47
R'n'B, Soul, Funk | Label: Revive Music

Nina Revisited. A Tribute to Nina Simone, which arrives at a time of renewed interested in the pianist and singer's life and art, was co-executive produced by Ms. Lauryn Hill and features interpretations by Hill along with Usher, Mary J. Blige, Common, and others.
Nina Revisited. A Tribute to Nina Simone is an incredibly difficult project to come to terms with. That's partially due to an inability to come to terms with Simone, whose penetrating breadth and pointed sagacity, to this day, remains a source of both comfort and discomfort to listeners. It's also because the project-co-executive produced by Ms. Lauryn Hill, largely produced by Robert Glasper, and featuring almost a dozen key artists-doesn't seem to ever come to terms with itself. It's a tribute to Simone's legacy, but in many ways, it's not.

Revisited arrives at a time of renewed interested in the pianist and singer's life and art, and as a companion piece to the must-see documentary W**hat Happened, Miss Simone? (Seriously, stop binging on whatever you're binging on via Netflix and push play.) In the past decade, the flame of Simone's heritage has been kept burning by Verve Records' Verve Remixed series, most notably on 2006's Remixed and Reimagined, which put the vocal stems of her RCA recordings through the mixers and production tools of a variety of DJs. The project featured renditions that not only updated a timeless artist, but also fostered inquiry about the voice, the phrasing, the poise that stood undaunted by all of the technology-assisted musical changes.

By contrast, Revisited relies on contemporary singers updating Simone, and sometimes not doing the High Priestess much proper worship.

There's issue to be taken with the choice of songs here. Numbers like "Ne Me Quitte Pas", "Sinnerman", "My Baby Just Cares for Me", and others, while being staples of Simone's live sets, are not her original numbers, reducing much of the album to covers of covers. Sometimes these work. Gregory Porter's rendition of "Sinnerman" translates well, but that's because Porter's voice-plaintive but confident-is suited to this kind of material, as he showed on the stirring "1960 What?" from his 2010 debut, Water. And the severely under-appreciated Alice Smith provides that album's best number with "I Put a Spell on You".

Haunting and pleading, "Spell" is not just a song, it's a moment of abject desperation-picture the Weeknd on his second night in an in-patient rehab facility, curled up in a corner with debilitating withdrawal symptoms, and you're close. If it doesn't make sense to describe this song by using another singer as metaphor, that may be because it makes no sense to pay tribute to Nina Simone with a Screamin' Jay Hawkins song. Regardless, Smith owns the fuck out of "Spell", much the same way Jimi owned Dylan for "All Along the Watchtower" and Bobby Shmurda took "Jackpot" from Lloyd Banks to make "Hot Nigga". If there's any justice in this world, no one will ever cover "I Put a Spell on You" again, whereas Usher's Salaam Remi-produced take on "My Baby Just Cares for Me", might as well be a Sinatra tribute.

For her part, Ms. Lauryn Hill-who perhaps introduced an entire generation to Simone with the Fugees' "Ready or Not" when she rhymed that "while you imitatin' Al Capone/ I'll be Nina Simone/ And defecating on your microphone"-provides five songs here (six, if you count that she's credited with producing the remake of Simone's "African Mailman" instrumental). These are a mixed bunch. "Ne Me Quitte Pas" feels like a self-indulgent exercise to prove that she can sing in French; her remix of "I've Got Life" finds her not singing, but rapping-and pretty unconvincingly at that. In the same way that this project is sure to leave listeners wondering why Simone was important as a singer, "I've Got Life" leaves one wondering why Ms. Hill, full of empty narcissism and wordy pedantry, was very important as a rapper. Yet, when she's not sounding like a newcomer doing a poor L-Boogie impersonation, she comes through with a pitch perfect cover of "Feeling Good", and by the time she's running through riffs near the end of "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair", all is forgiven and we're reminded that Ms. Hill-a Black woman with classical aspirations, a dark-skinned Black girl posed as object of beauty, a pop culture fetish figure striving to be a social agent-has always been a generation's Nina Simone.

Still, what's missing here is Simone's voice. Even though it appears on the album's final number-full and deep and wide and light on "I Wish I Knew How It Felt to Be Free"-her metaphoric voice has been muted, akin to the way Kanye West covered her up with AutoTune on Watch the Throne's "New Day" and sped it up for "Blood on the Leaves", which turned "Strange Fruit", one of the most piercing songs in American history, into a mishmash about sidepieces and drugs and being down for your n-words. Simone's true endowment to culture is the steadfast way she engaged social issues and activated protest and love in her music. There's little of the fire and compassion that Nina Simone embodied on Revisited. (For that, it's urged that you check out 2008's excellent Protest Anthology, which mixed her more political numbers with contextual interview snippets.)

What is here is Jazmine Sullivan's "Baltimore", which while not a Simone original, should have, for obvious reasons, been put to much greater effect. "I'm never gonna come back here/ 'Til the day I die/ Oh, Baltimore/ Ain't it hard just to live," Sullivan sings strongly, but safely. It's personal, not political and it's disheartening. The album's most poignant political moment comes from Common, who breaks out of his placating Black coffee shop rap on "We Are Young Gifted & Black" to spit, "Mississippi, goddamned/ Ferguson, goddamned/ Staten Island, goddamned/ Baltimore, goddamned," but without the inclusion of Simone's signature "Mississippi Goddam", the line is sure to go over the heads of many.

With this shaping up to be the year that Nina Simone truly gets revisited-in addition to this album and the aforementioned documentary, there's a controversial biopic coming later this year-it's less important that this album do the job by itself of capturing Simone. (To be fair, not even What Happened, Miss Simone? does that.) Nina Revisited. A Tribute to Nina Simone seems geared towards introducing a contemporary to the High Priestess of Soul, and how well it does that remains to be seen. The album's inability to get it right is a testament to America's inability to come to terms with Blackness and Black genius, which was always at the core of Simone's struggle. In that sense, it's the perfect tribute album-just not in the way it intended to be.
1. Lisa Simone - My Mama Could Sing (Intro)
2. Ms. Lauryn Hill - Feeling Good
3. Ms. Lauryn Hill - I've Got Life (Version)
4. Ms. Lauryn Hill - Ne Me Quitte Pas
5. Jazmine Sullivan - Baltimore
6. Grace - Love Me Or Leave Me
7. Usher - My Baby Just Cares For Me
8. Mary J. Blige - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
9. Gregory Porter - Sinnerman
10. Common - We Are Young Gifted & Black
11. Alice Smith - I Put A Spell On You
12. Lisa Simone - I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl
13. Ms. Lauryn Hill - Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
14. Ms. Lauryn Hill - Wild Is The Wind
15. Ms. Lauryn Hill - African Mailman (Instrumental)
16. Nina Simone - I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free


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