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Louis Cole: Quality Over Opinion

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Louis Cole: Quality Over Opinion
Louis Cole is a chameleonic genius—merging beats, samples and catchy tunes across styles ranging from "metal-funk-fusion" to "pastoral falsettos." His loose incorporation of jazz traits, including syncopation, funk keys and sophisticated horn arrangements, has yielded new validation with a Grammy 2024 Best Alternative Jazz Album nomination for Quality Over Opinion (originally released in 2022). Cole plays fluid keys, guitar, drums, sings and produces.

There are twenty pieces on Quality Over Opinion. Practically every tune—the majority clock-in at under four minutes—is ear-catching. Here's a brief take on just few of the songs:

The album opens with the eponymous title track, a ratatat stream-of-thought over a lush electronic symphony. The lyrics demand that listeners wake up and think. Then savor the orchestral outro and we're off to the next piece, "Dead Inside Shuffle," a funk/smooth jazz jam.

The third piece, featuring an adeptly finger-picked guitar, poses a question: how can such an upbeat track be about a person who feels "Not Needed Anymore"? Later in the recording, "Bitches" is reminiscent of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970) era but with the synth patches and drums on steroids. Then there are the songs whose titles alone compel one to give them a try, notably "I'm Failing in a Cool Way" and "Let Me Snack."

So the album goes, one tasty number after another. It may not be traditional jazz—one might even be surprised to learn that Cole pursued formal jazz and classical study programs—but his work should appeal to jazz fans who appreciate funk, instrumental proficiency and sheer inventiveness. Quality Over Opinion builds on Cole's discography of over 15 recordings, solo and as part of the avant-funk groups Knower and Clown Core. And be sure to check out his videos and visual persona on YouTube. Sounds like "quality" in this parish, but form your own "opinion."

Track Listing

Quality Over Opinion; Dead Inside Shuffle; Not Needed Anymore; Shallow Laughter; Bitches; Message; Failing in a Cool Way; Disappear; I’m Tight; True Love; Planet X; Let Me Snack; Forgetting; Park Your Car on My Face; Don’t Care; Laughing in Her Seep; Outer Moat Behavior; When; Let It Happen; Little Piano Thing.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Quality Over Opinion | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Brainfeeder


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