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Gary Clark Jr. ,"This Land" album review
GCJ_this_land_album_cover

for BRML
by Justin Krever


The year was 2012 when then relatively unkown blues rock artist Gary Clark Jr. set the proverbial world on fire with his seminal release "Blak and Blu".

Hailed by critics and fans alike as a veritable masterpiece, "Blak and Blu" was certainly something to behold and made Clark something of a "household name".

And then... time went on.

In 2015, Clark followed up "Blak and Blu" with "The Story of Sonny Boy Slim". The album certainly wasn't horrible by any standard, but it failed to garner even a modicum of the attention and praise that "Blak and Blu" did.

Furthermore fans and critics alike were starting to question IF and WHEN Clark was going to record a number that discussed the complicated social millieu and the stark reality that POC (People of Colour) face on a daily basis like so many of his contemporaries (Ben Harper, Cody Chestnutt Jr., Childish Gambino, et al.).

Clark knew that he would have to deliver something very special with his next offering, and earlier this year, he did just that.

The 15 track "This Land" released earlier this year was just what the doctor ordered to put this very skilled and eclectic blues rocker back into the limelight, and cement him as one of the most noteworthy forces in contemporary Black music.

The most poignant track, without question is the title track. The song "This Land" is a funky number absolutely "dripping with soul and attitutude". It's an unapologetic, socially conscious song focusing on the horrors of European Imperialism / Slavery and Black Men and Women's role in America and the subjugation that they (we) face.

Part of the chorus goes as follows.

'Nigga run, nigga run
Go back where you come from
Nigga run, nigga run
Go back where you come from
We don't want, we don't want your kind
We think you's a dog born
Fuck you, I'm America's son
This is where I come from'






Quintessentially unapologetic, powerful and poignant, the track "This Land" is an instant classic.

Aside from the aformentioned "What About Us" is a racaus number with some very groovy, soaring guitar licks.

"Feed the Babies" is slow tempo R&B number reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield or perhaps even Pharrel Williams.

All in all, "This Land" is a very solid effort. It MAY not be quite as acclaimed as "Blak and Blu", but in the pantheon of Black Rock n Roll, this is an album that you will definitely want in your collection.

Until next time, y'all.

Peace and Love!

- Justin Krever



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