Okay, so let’s get the obvious out of the way before we start with this review – Dudley Perkins is not a singer of the American Idol winners circle calibur. Dudley Perkins probably knows this just like we do, and because of this we should never, ever, ever judge a Dudley Perkins album on how well he can sing. Instead we should focus on how his albums make us feel. A Lil Light was Dudley harmonizing with some groovy beats by Madlib. Some liked it, some didn’t. But Dudley doesn’t care, because he’s back at it again with Expressions (2012 a.u.).
With an extreme infusion of Madlib soul, Dudley Perkins creates an inebriated atmosphere full of old soul that actually works. Although the lyrics don’t actually add up too cohesively, they say just enough, in a broken down, chaotic, yet jazzy, sort of way (if that makes any sense). Songs like “Funky Dudley” and “Get On Up” are quite funky and Dudley says just enough not to take the attention away from the guitar plucks and grooving bass lines. At times Dudley’s voice plays the background to the bleary eyed romp that Madlib has created. “Separate Ways” is another example of Dudley expressing himself in an early 70′s sort of way.
Sure, Dudley doesn’t make conventional songs, but does Madlib make conventional beats? The answer is obviously known and this is why the two can work together and construct an entertaining album. “Dear God” and “That’s the Way It’s Gonna Be” are beautifully crafted and epitomize the fact that somehow Madlib hooks Dudley up with some of his finest production (that or Dudley has an incredible ear for music).
Expressions is another avenue for Dudley to vent his random thoughts without having to rhyme. It’s all about feeling and emotion. And with Madlib providing the soul to go along with Dudley’s heart, you have a cleverly crafted album that should make you feel good….even if the lyrics don’t make a whole lot of sense to you.
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