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Joseph Malik: Aquarius Songs

Joseph Malik’s second disc for Compost, Aquarius Songs, is edgy psychedelic soul that touches on personal and socio-political angst. The Nigerian-Scottish singer again collaborates with multi-instrumentalist and producer David Donnelly, who insulates Malik’s ghostly cries with sweeping, cinematic orchestrations that are heavily influenced by Charles Stephney and David Axelrod. With a shimmering tenor that falls somewhere between Curtis Mayfield and Bill Withers, Malik ignites the emotional fuse on “Aquarius Song,” where he sorrowfully sings about an absent father, and on “Race Relations,” a meditation on being multiracial. In short, Aquarius Song is a thought-provoking, sonically exquisite masterpiece of 21st-century soul.

Originally Published