We're New Again - A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven

Gil Scott-Heron & Makaya McCraven - We're New Again - A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2020 Ratings: #48 / 809
User Score
Based on 338 ratings
2020 Ratings: #168
Liked by 7 people
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The Line of Best Fit

We’re New Again is sonically updated for the 21st century, but still firmly rooted in jazz, soul, and blues — musics of protest and radical defiance rather than the disillusionment and solitude the original I’m New Here transmits.


Rather than make a jazzier version of the original, he found the natural rhythm to the lyrics and built songs around them. In doing so, Makaya McCraven breathes new life into not only the album but Scott-Heron’s legacy.

Crack Magazine

Few of the 18 tracks exceed three minutes and so the record keeps up a jittering momentum. Yet, it is still Scott-Heron’s masterful storytelling which keeps us engaged.


The Chicago drummer and producer transforms Gil-Scott Heron's final album into a masterpiece of dirty blues, spiritual jazz, and deep yearning.

Spectrum Culture

McCraven and company are able to leave the listener with a far more definitive statement about reckoning with one’s own legacy, decisions and life’s work.


What makes We're New Again so fascinating lies in the fact that Makaya McCraven benevolently and sonically recognizes Gil Scott-Heron's grief, joy, and legacy, making sure these vital expressions remain the album's true focus.

The Guardian

By sampling and placing his work within the radical future of Chicago’s jazz scene, McCraven honours Scott-Heron’s memory anew.


It adds immeasurably to Scott-Heron's canon, celebrating his influence by revealing the full power, pain, and streetwise wisdom of the artist in the present and the future.

Spill Magazine

Simply put, We’re New Here is a pure, unadulterated stroke of artistic brilliance.

Q Magazine
The result is a pitch-perfect homage to the old master, whose voice resonates as powerfully as it did a decade ago.
The Needle Drop

While often pretty and groovy, Makaya McCraven's reimagining of Gil Scott-Heron's swansong tends to drain the suspense and emotional potency out of its source material.

For this review, I take this opportunity to pay homage to a great legend Gil Scott Heron as much artistically as humanly, a great poet and singer. He offered us excellent works, especially in the 70s, and he's a bit our first rapper in history. God knows how important hip hop is to me.

So how do we approach and what do we think of a new re-imagining of the incredible album I'm New Here: First of all, I'd like to say that the tribute is very successful. In my opinion it's impossible to do only ... read more
We're New Again is a classy Jazz record that greatly pays tribute to a man like Gil Scott-Heron but despite his relatively short length, it fails to entertain for its entirety.

FAVORITE TRACK: The Patch - (Broken Home pt. 2)
I have never been into Jazz or really anything like it, but this hit. The super tight drum work, Scott-Heron's super warbly voice that kind of reminds me of Tom Waits with a bit more spunk, and the super soulful affectation the whole album puts on made for a super accessible, funky nu-jazz listen that I will definitely be returning to.
I so thought I posted the review I did yesterday, but apparently, I didn't. I Mandela'd myself. Unpog.

Anyway, We're New Again is a brilliant reimagination of Gil Scott-Heron's I'm New Here.

I listened to I'm New Here first before I did this one to see how it compared to this one. I absolutely loved it, so I immediately thought going into this one "if that one was already as great as it was, this one is probably not gonna be as good." I was wrong, I like them both! The reimagination ... read more
I feel like a lot was missed out of this. What could have been a well polished reimagining was just "meh" if you ask me. Not as much of this reimagining is compelling enough to capture the heart of where the originals were going.
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Track List

  1. Special Tribute (Broken Home, Pt. 1)
  2. I'm New Here
  3. Running
  4. Blessed Parents
  5. New York is Killing Me
  6. The Patch (Broken Home, Pt. 2)
  7. People of the Light
  8. Being Blessed
  9. Where Did the Night Go
  10. Lily Scott (Broken Home, Pt.3)
  11. I'll Take Care of You
  12. I've Been Me
  13. This Can't Be Real
  14. Piano Player
  15. The Crutch
  16. Guided (Broken Home, Pt.4)
  17. Certain Bad Things
  18. Me and the Devil
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Added on: December 7, 2019