Afternoon Coffee

More
So I've been making my way through this Idle Warship joint, with same sort of pace as Middlemarch. One thing I'm learning from George Eliot (and previously from Faulkner) is that liking art, and studying art are two different things.

But I digress. On my first listen of Habits of the Heart, I wasn't sure how I felt. I haven't heard anything from Res in over a decade. (Though I've been informed that a lot of that has to do with me hitting the north side of 35.) When that happens you tend to remember the artist as they were, and there's a strong inclination, in this case, toward wanting to hear How I Do: The Sequel.

But people change and their art changes with them. This is not a sequel to How I Do, it's something messier and different. The album is still eclectic, but it doesn't cohere as well. (It's also a joint project with Talib Kweli) I've come to believe that actually isn't a criticism. I don't think As I Lay Dying coheres well either--and I've lately been obsessed with this notion as the artist as the interrogator. Put differently the art is sometimes about the process of asking questions, not offering answers. It's likely I'm hearing this album from the vantage of my own struggles with art. I don't know.

Anyway, there some moments here I really love--"Are You In," "God Bless My Soul" and "Covered In Fantasy" for instance. And there's Laser Beams which just kinda burns. The live version (from some years ago, apparently) after the jump isn't the highest grade of video production, but there's something about being right there with the crowd. Nostalgia is all over me on that one. I haven't been to a show in years. I doubt I'll be going to one again anytime soon. When I think about live music I just think about standing for a long time on line, then standing inside, enduring the openers, and the headliner coming on late. I'm just worn down son. But it's nice to get that feeling again.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In