Born in Zambia, now living in Australia, it’s no wonder that Sampa the Great defies genres. Smooth R&B. Jazz. Conscious hip hop. Soul. World music. It’s also no wonder that The Return, Sampa’s first album in two years, is…Uneven. But don’t let that stop you from checking it out. Not every song hits–but also not every song hits the first time you hear it. An album like this needs to be digested, which can be hard in this age of disposable music, with artists releasing new material every few months.

And contributing to the lack of immediate accessibility is the complete absence of a single. Nothing on this record jumps out and grabs you–it’s more a slow burner. By the end of the album, you’ll be amazed at this woman’s ability to jump genres–she is a true artist.

Have some patience. Give this record a chance. I think you’ll be glad you did.  It’s my favorite 2019 album I heard this week.

And in other new, here’s a couple more really good records I heard this week that aren’t quite good enough to be albums of the week…

First Spectre by Lightning Dust. Nice.
Very nice.

Related Posts

About The Author