Monday, December 01, 2008

Astronauts Of Antiquity: Rocket Science for Dummies- Album Review

I make no attempt to hide my disdain for what passes for R&B these days.  I hold Usher, R. Kelly, Rhianna, and their ilk in nothing but the highest contempt.

That's why it's so refreshing and exciting when an artist comes on the scene with something truly interesting in the genre.  Much like Nikka Costa's latest (review here) Astronauts Of Antiquity's new album Rocket Science for Dummies provides us with that breath of fresh air.

Comprised of singer India and guitarist B. Rhyan, Astronauts Of Antiquity have channel their R&B, jazz, and soul influences through a modern electronic lens.  The result is a funky re-envisioning of a genre.

The album opens with it's most rock track, "Everywhere", which does well as a showcase for India's sultry vocals.   Her voice is probably at it's best on "Miss Caroline", a song sung with an obvious influence of '50's soul divas.

Brazilian and South American influences play heavily on several tracks.  "Sweet-Tooth" is an irresistible hip-shaker, while "Sup A Soul" could almost launch its own Brazilian Trip Hop style.

The Astronauts pay homage to classic R&B on "Emo Healing" (it has nothing to do with cutting yourself).  The song is delivered with a slight gospel flair on top of a modern soundtrack.  Call it Marvin Gaye meets Portishead in a smokey lounge.

"Soup Du Jour" features as guest appearance by C. Knowledge of the smooth hip hop group Digable Planets.

Rocket Science for Dummies is a showcase for a group that respect the giants of their genre while tweaking it enough to make it feel at home in the 21st century.  Astronauts Of Antiquity are the way R&B should evolve.

Best tracks: "Rocket Science", "Miss Caroline"

Track listing for Rocket Science for Dummies:
  • Everywhere
  • Strangest Places
  • Sup A Soul- MP3
  • Rocket Science- MP3
  • Sweet-Tooth
  • Beautiful Fate
  • Miss Caroline- MP3
  • Emo Healing
  • Breakthrough
  • Soup Du Jour
  • Love Is All Around
  • Dance Until Dawn
  • Love Is A Mantra (Dub Remix)

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1 comment:

Astronauts of Antiquity said...

Thanks so much for the great review!