THEESatisfaction, ‘EartheE’ (Sub Pop)
“EartheE,” duo THEESatisfaction’s second full-length album, opens with the lines “Said the bird to the water, ‘may I take a sip?’” and continues with songs called “No GMO” and “Planet For Sale.” Yet despite its heavy nature themes, the album has a distinctly more hazed, electronic approach than 2012’s breezy “awE naturalE,” though its deconstructed R&B and future-soul production manage to sound organic, too, favoring shifting, flowing grooves.
Synth-pad atmospherics provide a perfect setting for Stasia Irons’ and Catherine Harris-White’s melancholic lyrics, which reflect a general dissatisfaction with the current state of things and an underlying hope for future ascension (and if you listen closely enough, an outline of how to get there).
Track-by-track, there’s way more to discover here than on previous releases, thanks to longer, more meandering runtimes. Especially of note is “Blandland,” a diss track of sorts to any number of melanin-deficient usurpers and appropriators who “take jazz/take soul/take hip-hop … ”
Shabazz Palaces’ Ish Butler lends a highly-quotable guest verse in which he blasts the establishment’s affinity “to grind all the diamonds that we mine to dust/and sell it back to us with the cold markups,” a powerful, necessary statement in a time when Iggy Azalea is topping rap charts.
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