Published On: Mon, Nov 27th, 2023
Music | By MDN

André 3000: New Blue Sun review – immersive and out there | Music


“Earth to André 3000” was the title of a GQ Style interview with Outkast rapper André Benjamin, and it captures how his fans envision him: a black-star wanderer orbiting our dull, sublunary planet. So, having avoided releasing an album for 17 years, a largely improvised instrumental set on which he’s lead flautist is baffling yet on-brand. Yet even without his raps (“What am I talking about? ‘I got to go get a colonoscopy?’” he huffed recently), it’s an involving listen.

Benjamin has woodwind form. He contributed flute to the soundtrack of Everything Everywhere All at Once and played clarinet on 2018’s epic tribute to his mother, Look Ma No Hands. New Blue Sun is more weirdly charismatic than either of those. Song titles are irreverent, recherché or both, proving he hasn’t lost his verve for wordplay. Yes, it would be great to hear what Outkast might’ve made of the ayahuasca trip that inspired That Night in Hawaii When I Turned Into a Panther and Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control … Sh¥t Was Wild, yet its swampy, ominous thump tells many stories of its own. The first and last pieces are excellent too – haunting and unpredictable, chilly little postcards from outer space.



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