Randolph Says, This is … What It Is

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For more than 15 years Detroiter Paul Randolph has shared wax and/or stage with Carl Craig, Amp Fiddler, War, Ben Harper, George Clinton and others. With this debut bow the formidable Motor City bassist has established himself as a legitimate solo artist.

And the most astonishing thing about this album is that it’s all basically house, bordering the breezy, and almost as easy as autumn’s first days. The soothing “Idle Time” travels briskly down a twilight road driven by Randolph’s bass; “Not Fallin’” and “Live Today” are deep, low-end sex-romp grooves punctuated by John Douglas and John Juster’s lovely horn bends; “Quote Me On That” is a discoish standout sporting unironic, quixotic lines (“Love brought us together, quote me on that/I am yours forever, quote me on that”) that showcase well Randolph’s brackish croon; subtle xylophone, an Amp Fiddler key part and deep Barry White-ready interludes highlight the super-danceable and melodic “About Last Night.” The album’s flaw comes on the regrettable funk/house blend “Break By Stone.” Elsewhere, pithy Randolph interviews pepper the space between songs, which gives the disc a mixtape feel. Randolph Says, This Is … What It Is is highly listenable and great for long countryside drives or intimate late-night fuck sessions. The downer is the disc’s 33 minutes isn’t enough to capture the essence of Randolph, his art or, for that matter, your lover.

Kahn Davison writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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