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 / 672
User Score
Based on 293 ratings
2020 Ratings: #169
Liked by 4 people
February 7, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
XL / Label
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Gil Scott-Heron, Makaya McCraven / Primary Artists
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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 just can't get enough of this tasteful mix of jazz and soul and poetry and that voice! This is the first time I felt motivated to weigh in with a rating and review here. I didn't want to spend a lot of time deciding on a number so I just went all in.
That track, 'Where did the night go'? It feels like he wrote that about me! If I'm up too late tonight, it's his fault. Mostly McCraven's fault for bringing him back to my attention with such a fine groovy sound.
If you aren't familiar with ... read more
it's so musically above what i'm used to that i don't feel qualified to give an opinion. enjoyed it though
How brave and full of confidence (or stupidity) you need to be to try to reimagining "I'm New Here" (2010)? I mean, there are thousands of shitty albums out there to try to do something new with them, but no, you decided to choose one of the perfect ones. Ok, it is not an easy task, but let's be honest, McCraven proved his point, He took this perfect album and gave us something new, his own vision of the last Scott-Heron record.

But, even when you need to recognize McCraven did a ... read more
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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