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I'm New Here

48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 9, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gil Scott-Heron is one of the most influential and important singer/songwriters to have come out of America in the second half of the last century. Much can be said about why this Gil's lyrics are so original and powerful but ,it is important not to overlook his utterly singular voice which is so distinctive and rough and tender. It is a voice of experience.A new record from Gil Scott-Heron, forty years after his first solo album, is a cause for major celebration and something that the world needs now more than ever.


Gil Scott-Heron is timeless. --New York Times

1. On Coming From A Broken Home (Pt. 1)
2. Me And The Devil
3. I'm New Here
4. Your Soul And Mine
5. Parents (Interlude)
6. I'll Take Care Of You
7. Being Blessed (Interlude)
8. Where Did The Night Go
9. I Was Guided (Interlude)
10. New York Is Killing Me
11. Certain Things (Interlude)
12. Running
13. The Crutch
14. I've Been Mee (Interlude)
15. On Coming From A Broken Home (Pt. 2)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 9, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: XL Recording
  • ASIN: B002ZBT84G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,565 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Scott D. Gribble on February 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The past decade has been tragically ironic for the iconic Gil Scott-Heron. The man has been the voice of a revolution whose impact reached well beyond the scope of his music; striving to rescue people from the pitfalls of society. The idea that the same man would be severing multiple prison sentences, battling drug addiction and facing a rumored HIV diagnosis in his later years is beyond belief... few have fallen from such heights. Yet, often the most masterful works result from the worst tribulations. Immersed in his personal demons "I'm New Here" follows this mold.

Followers of Scott-Heron's career might be thrown off by this record. No, he hasn't lost his mastery of words. Gil is as poignant as ever. His spoken word cuts are comparable to his earliest works and he knows exactly how to use his ailing voice to favor. It's musically and topically where this album is a grand departure from anything he's released. Scott-Heron sounds like he's literally been through hell. He touches on his demise, the fate of his soul, and living with the pain left by the sins he's committed. Tracks like the "New York Is Killing Me" are a kin to "Home is Where the Hatred Is", only further exemplified by the fact that he's no longer playing a role: he's lived it. The production of Richard Russel meets this tone head on by providing a sinister soundscape which is a perfect counterpart to the lyrics. It is more inline with the recent works of Portishead, Burial and Massive Attack than what one would naturally expect from the soul legend. Combining the man's ragged voice and the despair in his words with the dark production is a simply haunting experience.

I would honestly NOT recommend this album for people who are ONLY looking for a return to Gil's work with Brian Jackson.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's been quite some time now since Gil Scott-Heron's last record (Spirits) came out, long enough to make me question, between the inactivity of recording and his recent legal problems, whether or not Scott-Heron, whose political activist voice we so desperately missed during the Bush presidency, would ever return. Featuring a modern vibe from producer Richard Russell, Scott-Heron mixes blues covers, originals and spoken word pieces to great effect-- passionate to the point of painful, disarming in its honesty and at times fierce. In fact, if there was a criticism to make, it's that the record is brief (around 30 minutes). But brief as it may be, "I'm New Here" is a powerful record, and certainly one we've been waiting for.

The album has that feel of exorcism to it, whether it's the demons of stereotype ("On Coming From a Broken Home") or those more recent (the title track). Sparse instrumentation in a highly modern context-- more modern than you think an elder statesman of music like Scott-Heron could pull off, provide a backdrop for his world weary voice, having lost some of its smooth delivery but still capable of summoning extraordinary depth of emotion. I never thought I'd hear anyone match the haunted Robert Johnson, but Scott-Heron takes on the blues great on "Me and the Devil" and matches him. Likewise, he expresses a pragmatic tenderness on "I'll Take Care of You" and an odd regretfulness on "Running".

Something stops me from thinking of this like Scott-Heron's masterpieces of old-- maybe its the lack of political commentary, maybe it's the lack of explosive joy that his previous records all seemed to have-- there's no "Red, Black & Green" or "Your Daddy Loves You" or "B-Movie" on this one. But look, it's hard to speak of what could have been on an album I never expected to see. It's a great record on its own merits. Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Bowman on September 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been delaying writing a review for this one for a while. As a life long Gil Scott-Heron fan I wanted to make sure I really let this one sink in before I reviewed it. This is a tough album to review at any rate; I'm sure a lot of Gil's fans would have loved a return to the work they remember from the 1970's after waiting sixteen years since his last release, but Gil is Gil. He has never pulled any punches, and he's not about to start now. It's no secret that Gil has a drug problem, has fallen victim to the worst of what he sang about in his classic song about addiction "The Bottle", and has been to prison since his last album was released. He doesn't gloss anything over with "I'm New Here". The many spoken word clips (and I say clips because in some instances they are not poems or full spoken word pieces, but could more aptly be described as studio banter) that make up half of this disc are confessions, self deprecating jokes in some instances, and thoughts from Gil. The two part "On Coming From a Broken Home" is more of a fully formed spoken word poem, and is the exception. Most listeners probably had the same reaction as I did when first hearing Gil's version of Robert Johnson's "Me And The Devil": that Gil's voice has seen better days. However, I saw Gil perform in New York city in November 2009, and his vocals were noticeably smoother than on some of the songs on "I'm New Here". I can only conclude that this strained vocal style was a production choice, and an odd one considering that Gil has never had to scream or strain his voice in order to convey emotion in the past. His vocals on the more relaxed title track and the standard "I'll Take Care Of You" are easier on the ear, and are that much more effective.Read more ›
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