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on November 24, 2013
First off, let me say that I am an absolutely huge fan of Trombone Shorty. Backatown and For True are absolutely great albums. Unfortunately, his newest album just doesn't hold up to the first two. It's not inherently bad, but the album just feels way too produced. Fire and Brimstone and Say That to Say This are both really good songs but there's just too much R & B going on here. There's plenty of good music to be heard here, but way too much layering and messing around with the song. I know that he has a new producer, but I just want Trombone Shorty to get back to playing his signature funk, rock jazz. Get Saadiq out of the booth and let the man play his trombone. Plus, where's that berry sax player at? That guy is an animal!
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on September 18, 2013
I LOVE Trombone Shorty...BUT, what I love about him is the funk, soul, and clear foundation of living in NOLA I can hear in his music. "For True" or "Do To Me" are amazing songs...And he has many others.

Then I get to this album...From the first song, I hear a clear mixture between post-"Kath" Chicago and a poorly mixed R&B artist.

On the second track, I don't understand the harmonies used...It sounds like they layered Shorty's voice 5 or 6 times. I do not like that vibe at all.

Track 3, I am seriously just waiting for Peter Cetera to come out and start singing. And then instead, we hear that awful vocal effect again.

The 4th track actually upset me. This band seriously, seriously has one of the best Drummers I have ever heard and they have the audacity to use drum loops??? This borders criminal to me.

Track 5...Cetera's back. Don't get me wrong...I like Chicago but Kath is turning over in his grave from some of the music they produced after his passing...This is a band he would had loved to jam with before this album. "Oh, Thank You Great Spirit" is an INSANE song...It's brilliant. But listening to that and then, "You're the Inspiration" it just mind-boggling. But...I digress.

Overall, I'm just disappointed. This band is FAR, far, far better than this album. These recordings are just flat and become background music...This is not the same guy I see dancing like James Brown live. I'm seeing them in December and can only hope they refrain from playing too many of these songs. My hope for these guys is that they return to their roots and get moving again. The Bari Sax player is an ANIMAL...Where is he on this album? There is so little, "Musician-Friendly" music out there...And up until now, this band has been part of that small group. Most of what I hear on this album is similar to what the poor souls who have allowed Pop music to destroy American Culture subject themselves to daily.

I now see that the album was produced by Raphael Saadiq (D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, etc.). This only proves my point further...Trombone Shorty is light years ahead of those "Artists" mentioned. JUST THIS ALONE proves so much. "For True" and "Backatown" were produced by Ben Ellman - A REAL Musician...From Galactic. Why do artists think as they grow, they should change Producers? Don't they understand the concet of, "It ain't broke, don't fix it!?" I am just so disappointed and hope Trombone Shorty returns to the studio with Ellman and SOON.
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 2013
Sorry to say this is my least favorite of Trombone Shorty's 3 albums. It certainly has a beat - no way I was sitting still through most of these tracks. Troy Andrews is an undeniably gifted and versatile performer, playing a number of instruments and also singing on the majority of the tracks on this album. And I love love love the cover photo. The right half of the photo, which is inside the case, is high urban art at its very finest. However...

Just my opinion, but I find the lyrics to be distractingly simplistic, like moon-June-spoon simplistic. I think most of the songs could be improved by removing the vocals. Not that he is a bad singer, but, with the exception of Fire and Brimstone, the words don't add anything. It is a fun album to listen to, and I have great respect for Mr. Andrews as a musician and a human being. Just not as a poet.
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on December 2, 2013
Well, this album certainly illustrates the tensions between being a great regional artist steeped in a tradition, and wanting to sell more records. Shorty has thrown out most of his NOLA influences, dropped the horns to second (or nonexistent) place and allowed a very thick layered production to take over. Hence, workmanlike R & B with little flavor. If he keeps doing albums like this,
he'll lose his old fans and will not gain new ones. Its just too generic sounding. As a result, the album highlights one of the themes in the HBO series "Treme", in which he frequently appears.
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on July 29, 2014
I'm of mixed feelings about this one. It is shorter (36 minutes) and less engaging and diverse than Shorty's last two albums. The change in producers clearly emphasized the R&B element more, and while that isn't bad in and of itself, the album as a whole seems to have lost a bit of the New Orleans "musical gumbo" feel. For me, the best tracks were the instrumental "Vieux Carre" and the signature "Fire and Brimstone". It'll tide you over until the next album release or live show, but my feeling is that it's one reimagined old school classic and one contemporary instrumental jam away from being a really great album.
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on October 4, 2013
I understand the impulse for fans of Trombone Shorty to come out and give this album a poor review. However, this is a good album. It just fails to live up to anything that made us fall in love with this artist over the course of the first two mind-shatteringly awesome albums he put out. But it is still better than most out there. If you don't own Backatown and For True then I would highly recommend starting with those two first. But moving on the subject of "Say That to Say This"

The process of creating this album was different. Most notably, producer Ben Ellman was replaced Raphael Saadiq. Saadiq has a very impressive résumé, and I while I can understand the train of thought that would lead one to believe that he could work well with Troy Andrews and Orleans Ave, it just doesn't seemed to have played out that way in practice.

And unfortunately, I think Saadiq screwed with that creative process be getting involved. Apparently he sat down and played with the band on a great deal of the tracks on this album. I gather that Troy appreciated the new directions that this took the album in, but that's not what you should be doing at this point. This group has not stagnated. For True was probably the best album they've done. They're gaining more fame all the time (closing out Jazz Fest in NOLA, which is a huge honor), and the last album was full of top notch artists like Jeff Back and Cyril Neville who are capable of contributing much more in terms of influence. Perhaps the worst part of this release is that some of the other members of Orleans Ave seem to have been crowded out in the new album (epic baritone sax performer Dan Oestreicher). Ben Ellman (of Galactic) is a New Orleans treasure and a great sax and harmonica player to boot. But apparently he took most of that funky flavor with him, and Raphael's R&B expertise is just no substitute.

Bottom line, is that this band is best when you just step back and let them do their thing, and there are clearly a few songs on the album that have the flavor that made the group's first two albums so spectacular. Hopefully, this is a temporary deviation for an otherwise spectacularly talented ensemble. And if you can accept this album for its unfortunate shortcomings, the raw talent of the performers will ultimately reward you for it.

Update- The more I listen to this album and compare it to the first two released by this group, the more I realize that there are not enough profanities in the english language to accurately convey my contempt for Raphael Saddiq's inability to measure up to Ben Ellman. Thus the rating is going down. I wanted to like it more than this. I just can't. Please for the love of NOLA, bring back Ellman.
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on October 9, 2013
This release is without much of the signature musicianship that the rest of his previous releases have.

Guitar driven, rushed songs fill this release. Its rock album first, No doubt influenced by his heavy touring of the last two years. This is a sloppy and weak release- for a trombone short music...sorrry, but he set the standard high for himself.
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on February 9, 2014
I found my way to Trombone Shorty by random link-clicking on Amazon a couple of weeks ago and this is my second album. The collaborations work, and the trombone is insane. Fun, passionate virtuosity that gets your toes tapping and head nodding. My favorites are the up-tempo songs just because he's got so much more room to really play that thing and make it sing. The slower songs tend to be vocals driven and, while there's nothing wrong with that and I like the interplay between the two, he is an awesome musician and I really want to hear him wail.
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on January 29, 2014
I have greatly enjoyed listening to Trombone Shorty since I discovered him on youtube. He is a very good trombone soloist. Please note, I play trombone myself, though not professionally. I liked the jazz funk rock quality of this music. It has a rock edge and excellent guitar work. I am 50 years old and I haven't heard any new music in years that I was excited about, till Trombone Shorty came along.
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on January 27, 2014
I purchased this album because of the songs Long Weekend and Shortyville. Big fan of both songs. There are a couple of songs with a message that are not enjoyable to listen to. Over all I feel Troy Andrews will mature in his lyrics and will appeals more to the masses. He is very talented in his versatility in singing and playing the trombone.
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