11 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The most unexpected story of jazz in the 2010s has been the way artists like Kamasi Washington, Makaya McCraven, and BADBADNOTGOOD definitively obliterated the imaginary line separating the genre from pop music. Where the latter’s early releases covered songs by Tyler, The Creator, My Bloody Valentine, and James Blake, 2016’s IV—the Toronto group’s first as a quartet—proposes an even more organic fusion of styles, following productions for Earl Sweatshirt and Danny Brown.

Part of their genius is collaborative: Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring turns the understated “Time Moves Slow” into a showstopping soul ballad; Chicago MC Mick Jenkins gives the group an outlet for its hip-hop sensibilities on the hazy “Hyssop of Love”; and Colin Stetson’s bellowing baritone sax gives a muscular shove to “Confessions, Pt II,” inspiring some of the group’s heaviest playing. But BADBADNOTGOOD are just as captivating on their own, whether it’s the wistful retro-futurism of “Speaking Gently,” with its echoes of Broadcast and Stereolab, or the searing post-bop of “IV,” which barrels from the hard-hitting head through a succession of mercurial moods, landing on an exquisite comedown of a sax solo.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The most unexpected story of jazz in the 2010s has been the way artists like Kamasi Washington, Makaya McCraven, and BADBADNOTGOOD definitively obliterated the imaginary line separating the genre from pop music. Where the latter’s early releases covered songs by Tyler, The Creator, My Bloody Valentine, and James Blake, 2016’s IV—the Toronto group’s first as a quartet—proposes an even more organic fusion of styles, following productions for Earl Sweatshirt and Danny Brown.

Part of their genius is collaborative: Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring turns the understated “Time Moves Slow” into a showstopping soul ballad; Chicago MC Mick Jenkins gives the group an outlet for its hip-hop sensibilities on the hazy “Hyssop of Love”; and Colin Stetson’s bellowing baritone sax gives a muscular shove to “Confessions, Pt II,” inspiring some of the group’s heaviest playing. But BADBADNOTGOOD are just as captivating on their own, whether it’s the wistful retro-futurism of “Speaking Gently,” with its echoes of Broadcast and Stereolab, or the searing post-bop of “IV,” which barrels from the hard-hitting head through a succession of mercurial moods, landing on an exquisite comedown of a sax solo.

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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