February 21, 2013

Jordan Pedersen tries to go to chuch every Sunday, but sometimes he’s hungover.

This is Sunday dinner rap, draining cheap beers with old friends rap, wood-paneled basement rap, all Cooley High references and advice from dad: Tree may be taking shots, but he’s taking comfort in homies at the bar and sweet soul music. Tremaine Johnson finds salvation in a chopped-up gospel choir and ghostly Roc Marci drums.

Tree flips soul in a fresh way, a characteristic you might have thought died with Dilla. This is soul re-sculpted, the same roots splitting off in different directions. And even if he didn’t craft some of the finest beats around, he’d still have that scraped up weary voice. It’s psychedelia gone to seed, sentiment without nostalgia, as soft as you can get while still being hard-core. He sounds like he’s practically sobbing here — shades of Tony Starks on “I Can’t Go to the Sleep.”  Sunday School 2 is out in March. Until then, get this.

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