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André 3000 - New Blue Sun (Album Review)

Thursday, 23 November 2023 Written by Jack Terry

When André 3000 announced his debut solo album and first full length in 17 years, people immediately paid attention. But when we found out that the OutKast legend’s ‘New Blue Sun’ was an 87-minute instrumental flute record, there were questions. How could it be that one of the greatest rappers and lyricists to ever grace the game was going to do without words?

Comprising only eight tracks across its monster running time, ‘New Blue Sun’ is a new age epic. The opening track patiently builds across 12 minutes of sweeping synth vistas and delicate flute loops straight out of a Legend of Zelda cartridge.

As the track progresses, André goes crazy on the woodwind, staccato bursts rising and falling. Sometimes it feels as if he loses himself in the moment, with errant bum notes played off with style and panache.

Just as epic are the song titles, including That Night In Hawaii When I Turned Into A Panther And Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control ... Sh¥t Was Wild.

The naming conventions on display are bizarre and, yet, the track sounds exactly how you might expect a song with that title to sound — it is dark, brooding and mysterious, teeming with sensuality and excitement. 

‘New Blue Sun' is an interesting, if baffling, product. André 3000 has given us an album best enjoyed intimately, on noise-cancelling earphones in the wee hours of the morning. That's when every fibre of this record might sparkle and come alive. It's not the lyrical masterpiece fans will have been wanting, but it is a fascinating insight into the mind of one of hip-hop’s most creative, accomplished and enduring personalities. 

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