Barrence Whitfield and the Savages
Soul Flowers of Titan
Soul | Rock | Blues
a retro-afrofuturist tribute to sun ra: rock and soul act barrence whitfield and the savages
By Nathan Leigh
March 8, 2018
Barrence Whitfield and the Savages’ latest record Soul Flowers of Titan is like travelling back in time to imagine the future. It’s a raw and raucus work of Afro-retrofuturism inspired half by the imagery of Sun Ra and half by the rock and soul coming out of the middle of the country in the 50s and 60s. The music would be at home on an early Stax or Chess record, but it’s a straight up trip to the stars in homemade rocket ship.
Over lean throwback blues and soul riffs, Whitfield shouts out message of love both cosmic and terrestrial. Highlights like “Let’s Go to Mars” and “Sunshine Don’t Make the Sun” update the hot rod era for the 24th century. Who needs the open roads of “Rocket 88” when you have the open skies and an actual rocket? Soul Flowers of Titan revels in the absurdity of its concept while turning in 36 minutes of retro soul classics. Like Sun Ra himself, it’s just weird enough to work but doesn’t get in its own way. At the end of the day, what matters is the hooks and the energy, and Whitfield’s got both.
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