By Graham King
For her entire career, Georgia Anne Muldrow has specialized in the kind of r&b/jazz/hip-hop fusion that Flying Lotus and labelmates on Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint have become known for. So when it was announced that Muldrow had signed to the independent L.A.-based label, the pairing made instant sense. On Muldrow’s Brainfeeder debut, Overload, executively produced by Flying Lotus, she fails to disappoint, turning in her most cohesive and exciting effort in years.
Muldrow’s greatest musical tool has always been her overpowering voice, which she uses in a multitude of ways to capture the attention of the listener and keep them on their toes. The intro to the album, “I.O.T.A (Instrument of the Ancients),” instantly puts that vocal power on full display, allowing her to command the track by layering her vocal parts so as to sound like an angelic chorus. On the next song, “Play It Up,” trap cymbals crash over the track, but they can’t usurp Muldrow, who dances over the song, rarely landing her lines in classic rhythmic time but flowing so captivatingly that the rhythm of the beat plays backseat to her haunting melody.
Rarely does an r&b album primarily about love sound so out there, and credit is due to Muldrow’s suite of producers for giving her such interesting canvases to paint on. At about the halfway point, Overload switches to a more traditional style of r&b, which Muldrow has a masterful command of. Overload is not without faults, particularly in the lyrics themselves, which border on heavy-handed. However, nothing is enough to take away from Muldrow’s luscious voice, the true star of the album. Just for that, Overload is worth your time. Add in a variety of Grade A production, and we’re looking at one of the most interesting albums of the year.Brainfeeder, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Overload, Record Review