Mon 11 Oct 2010 to Sun 17 Oct 2010

by Aloe Blacc

Good Things marks a shift in methodology from personal to political for Aloe, who refers to the project as his report on present conditions-joblessness, homeless, the misappropriation of wealth, pillaging of resources, and a universal lack of compassion from the capitalism at-large under which we all function, but some struggle to survive.

Song titles such as "You Make Me Smile" and "Miss Fortune", coupled with airy, ethereal production from Truth & Soul's Leon Michels [El Michels Affair] and Jeff Silverman mask a foreboding undercurrent in which Aloe crafts lyrics both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Nowhere is this more evident than on lead single, "I Need a Dollar"-commissioned by HBO as the theme music for the series How to Make It in America-because ultimately, that is how to make it in America.

The first-generation American offspring of Panamanian parents, Aloe has become what writer and activist Amiri Baraka (nee Leroi Jones) once said of John Coltrane. He is a singular "scope of feeling... a more fixed traveler" who has found cohesion in art and life. The path from his 2006 debut, the multi-genre Shine Through, to Good Things is akin to the maturation of Marvin Gaye between That's the Way Love Is and the What's Going On masterwork that followed.

Good Things is a definitive declaration that places Aloe directly in the framework of modern soul.

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