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Volcanic Sunlight Import

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Product Description

EU pressing of this 2011 release from the New York-born singer, poet, actor and musician. Features the single 'Explain My Heart'. Columbia. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By nin/ja77 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Musician, Poet, Actor and Writer Saul Williams follows up 2007's "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!" with his fourth studio album "Volcanic Sunlight" and it shows that as always Williams is not your typical hip hop/rapper as he cares little for trends and is more focused on spreading his word through music and this time he has even added elements of pop!

Where as the Trent Reznor produced "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!"(lets hope the rumours of niggy 2 are true) was full of big beats and powerful vocals "Volcanic Sunlight" almost shows Williams softer side. One listen to the title track will prove this as Williams delivers one of his catchiest tracks yet. "Girls Have More Fun" has a beat the Beastie Boys would be proud of, it seems Saul wanted to have a bit of fun to go with his serious side. "Dance" is a funk filled track and contains a sample from "Disco '82" which was featured in the Bollywood movie "Khud-Daar", it works brilliantly.

People who fear that Saul might be going soft, fear not as one listen to the explosive "Explain My Heart" will show as it contains all the elements that make us love Saul in the first place, a hard hitting vocal over some big beats, "Rocket", "Diagram" and "Patience" are all tracks that will become stand out tracks on the album.

While on the first couple of listens it might seem Saul might have lost his hard hitting edge, a few listens will prove that wrong and show what a great diverse album this is. After all Saul has never been one to rest on his laurels, anybody who has seen him live will attest to that, whether it be rocking it with a full band or just him and a DJ, Saul always gives 100%. At least we know he means and cares what he raps and rhymes about!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A review of Saul Williams' "Volcanic Sunlight" May 14 2011
By Paul M. Guyet - Published on
Format: Audio CD
While I am HUGELY biased against all Saul Williams albums NOT co-produced/co-written/co-starring Oscar®© Winning Musician Trent Reznor, this is a really solid follow-up to 'The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust' and a gigantically amazing incredible follow up to the more recent 'NGH WHT', an album-length recitation of the epic poem of the same name from Williams' poetry book, The Dead Emcee Scrolls, set to a symphony composed by Swiss composer Thomas Kessler and performed by The Arditti String Quartet.
This time around, listeners get more pop than poetry, less "in your face" and more "in your radio", and I think it works well for Williams.
His rawness and aggression are still there, but tempered by dance beats, 60's funk licks and the second least aggressive musical instrument in the world: the tambourine.
Certain tracks actually sound like radio-friendly singles, until you really listen to the words, at least.
One of these, "Girls Have More Fun", has a lively drum line accented by a peppy little keyboard riff. Those elements plus a sing-along chorus ("Girls! Have fun!") make the listener unable to sit still during it.
"Rocket" is ridiculously accessible and has an uplifting, cascading sound that feels akin to soaring through space and "Dance", the album's first single, makes one want
Actually, "Dance" might be the most sinister pop song you've ever heard.
Something about it feels dangerous...
As if you'll start off the evening dancing but end up worshipping some dead god...or maybe that's just me.
Whatever the case, it's clear that Williams' time in France has influenced his sound, although there is still an abundance of his usual intense, reflective works on this album.
Songs like "Give It Up" and the title track are more the slam poetry fans are accustomed to, but even these less poppy works are still less confrontational than songs from his earlier albums.
Almost every track features live drums, which range from simple, driving beats to complex, hyper-energetic patterns which serve to almost hypnotize the listener, usually paired up with simple keyboard and/or guitar.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how much "Fall Up" and "Diagram", sound as much like TV On The Radio as TV On The Radio's "Repetition" (from their latest album 'Nine Types of Light') sounds like Saul Williams.
The idea of a Saul Williams/TV On The Radio tour (let's call it the Nine Types of Volcanic Light tour) makes my mouth water...
Anyway, while 'Niggy Tardust' and 'NGH WHT' may have frightened off the casual listeners, 'Volcanic Sunlight' is more welcoming to the less adventurous and a great gateway into Williams' deeper, more poetic works such as his self titled effort and his debut, 'Amethyst Rock Star'.
Even though this is a more accessible and, dare I say, commercial work, some things remain constant and that include the passion, poetry and heart with which Saul Williams imbues all his works.
His fire and intensity as a performer have earned the loyalty of his fans.
And, if you're on the fence about Saul Williams, go see him live: your doubts will be erased and you'll be a fan for life.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Probably decent, but I can't tell July 17 2012
By Jason Harrington - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Saul's career arc is an odd one to follow. I was obsessed with him when he did "Om" on the Lyricist Lounge compilation, and later when he did "Coded Language" with Krust, but his first album was a let-down at best, because the aesthetic he built by combining visceral spoken word with drum-n-bass production was nothing he aimed to stay loyal to, so the rest of the album was black rock like Living Color or Lenny Kravitz. All of those references would be horribly dated now.

His self-titled album laid the foundation for the sound he would build on from then forward, which is a sort of lo-fi electronic punk, with flourishes of of industrial, rap, and other odds and ends. That album largely dropped his dated 90's side in favor of something more on-the-pulse that connected the past and future of music.

After that he did the Niggy Tardust album with Trent Reznor, which I think most of us can agree was pretty great. However, they were largely doing industrial rap, which is a tricky genre not to nail sound-wise, but just tricky to know who to align yourself with. It was an avant guarde move in that sense, to come out at a turbulent time as the CD format was dieing. This is important to point out, because the album was very long (typical of CD format), and Saul is clearly as long-winded as they come anyway. So, the album gave me even more than I asked for, and I got full on it.

So, Niggy Tardust was a total success in nearly every way, except leaving me hungry for more. If you put it in your iPod on shuffle then it will come up constantly, and his voice doesn't always "play-well" with others. So, my friends (whom I initially turned-on to Saul only really started to like him as Niggy Tardust due to them associating him with Trent Reznor starting back when Saul opened for Nine Inch Nails) told me he had a new album out, but each of my friends was saying something totally different about it.

So, I got a copy, and put it in the car for a roadtrip with my wife and I. We were both too tired of his voice to really stay open-minded about it, and thus we ejected it before the album was even done. I revisited it for a second listen, while I was scouring for unique contributions to a mixtape, and I ended up using that Rocket song due to it's strong beat and hook.

Don't get me wrong though, I can recognize that this is Saul being really accessible. In many ways he is returning to fix what went wrong when he dabbled in rock on his first album, buy pulling in ideas from far beyond the spectrum of black rock. Although this is far from J-pop, it sort of has a Japanese X Sonic-Youth vibe almost like he is being backed by Cibo Matto. He does still mix in some of that industrial rap, but his allegiances are now more confusing. I always felt that Saul had enough to be a solo artist, obviously, but he functions best as part of a collective. Just because he can write novels of awesome lyrics does not mean that he is immune to excess.

I only wish my enthusiasm for his voice and his presence had survived this long, to what appears to be his best album, but Niggy Tardust came in so hard and went out so soft, that I only copped a free download of this new one. For someone who went so crazy over "Om," "Coded Language," "List of Demands," and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (to name but a few), it feels really defeating to be holding this album that seems like the artists best, but that I hardly care about, and that not many publications seem to care about either.

I still think he could get me excited again, with the right collaborators, but I just can't take another album of his rough singing and long-winded preachy rambling. I wish he had written these songs for someone else to sing/say. I just can't, in good faith, tell anyone this is stellar and they should get it. Save your money and go see him lecture; his lectures are still riveting.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Come on saul man, really? April 23 2014
By Steven M Kast - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I've been following this guy since the movie SLAM, and have loved most of his work as it evolves and mutates. I love Saul, and I thought his first album was the strongest, next I thought the trent reznor's collab album was rocking as well. But this? what the hell is this? A bunch of pop - poppycock. Wake up. Get back to your rootz. Revolution of the mind.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a perfect album April 3 2012
By spaceboy - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is a masterpiece.

I purchased it about 2 months ago, and haven't been able to listen to anything else since. I came to it as a casual listener, since I only heard Niggy Tardust from Saul Williams before (and I wasn't that blown away by it to be honest), so I was quite surprised just how much I actually LOVED this record!

It seems like he instinctively got rid of all the things I disliked in Niggy -mainly the negativity- and made a very honest, simple and positive album. And it's great to dance to! It's a breath of fresh air. Highly recommended.

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