Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too
Young Father's couldn't do anything more. Anything different. White Men Are Black Men Too is disobedient and dense. It is everything Young Fathers wanted it to be. Maybe even everything you wanted, too.
If, while you're listening to the record, you find a fault: something you don't like – a silence, percussion recorded too hot in the desk – you've gotta know: it's meant to be there. Not because the album was meticulously planned. No, nothing about these songs was calculated. But because it couldn't have ended up any other way.
The record feels immediate. Young Fathers make music because they need to. Necessity, not hunger, fuels this trio of vocalists. It simply comes forth. Think Basquiat – whose epigrams, written as SAMO, can be seen with passing resemblance in Young Father's lyrics. Think art brut, which, when drawn into English, describes the raw and the intuitive.
You might now be tempted to consider Young Fathers outsider artists. This isn't the case. Though (bravo) they are remarkably analogous. But YF know, too well, that they're making cultural artifacts. Objects an iTunes gift card entitles ownership of, songs that will stream through the internet's primary arteries, songs that will stream through Spotify.
This is pop music, this is pop music, this is pop music. Young Fathers want you to know. They say in interviews, they say it on video, this record says it. But it's challenging – because this isn't pop as you know it. So you've gotta pay attention.
WMABMT needs you to be responsive if you're to pick it up, though it's more like: 'to catch it' – cause that's what you do something flies at you. WMABMT pulls hard away from approachability, towards the new, but never rules that the two are mutually exclusive. “Joe Doe” jangles and shines, the LP's catchiest number. Not that the album is without: “Rain or Shine”, “Dare Me” and “Sirens” invite, with open arms, your voice to join them. In harsher tracks, like “Feasting”, percussive elements bustle against one another. WMABMT vibrates inward, ad infinitum.
This isn't easy. It's a record full of questions. Are you really surprised? You noticed the title, right? Sure, everything's punctuated by a full stop, but Young Fathers demand that you think, that you push. Cause it's all a big question. You awake yet?