AOTY 2021

Talk Memory

BADBADNOTGOOD - Talk Memory
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2021 Ratings: #356 / 682
User Score
Based on 426 ratings
2021 Ratings: #61
Liked by 31 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
Uncut
An all-instrumental set of improvised studio performances as lyrical and soulful as they are virtuosic and energized.
80
Mojo

Their most forward-facing jazz album yet, packed with complex, multi-storied compositions you can still dance to.

80
Exclaim!

On their fifth LP, Talk Memory, BADBADNOTGOOD reconnect with their early jazz-fused influences for an album that shows the trio impressively finding the groove in the most intricate and intensive manner.

80
The Arts Desk

Dramatic and emotional, varied and coherent, questing and effervescent, Talk Memory is a worthy return.

80
AllMusic
Throughout the album, BadBadNotGood and their guest collaborators flesh out the sonic canvas without taking away from the raw energy of the performances.
80
Beats Per Minute

They made their name by creating groovy records, and while grooves are still present on Talk Memory, they are certainly different and less apparent. One thing that can’t be denied is that it opens up more with each listen.

80
PopMatters

Canadian jazz/hip-hop band BadBadNotGood’s Talk Memory sees them ascend towards more bold and elaborate heights than ever before.

80
Clash

'Talk Memory' ... album number six, sees BBNG in full jazz mode, a nine-track opus of gorgeous musical exploration on their own terms.

80
Record Collector
It's their best work to date, a frequently astounding album that demands time to reveal its brilliant intricacies. They are entering an imperial phase.
80
The Observer
The album is meandering in places, evoking a sense of the unknown that’s become so familiar in 2021, but there’s a sense that the trio want to bring their growing fanbase with them into a new dimension. It will reward those who come along for the ride.
80
Pitchfork
With nods to the likes of Miles Davis and Pharoah Sanders, the inventive Canadian band sets aside its affinity for hip-hop and kindles a love of classic jazz.
80
The Young Folks

While being somewhat divisive in its relatively inaccessible nature, Talk Memory’s vision and artistic direction serve as hallmarks to what the band can still bring to the table after so long and the departure of a founding member.

70
Northern Transmissions

While the bluster of some of their previous work isn’t as strongly felt on Talk Memory, the album does show the group seemingly more focused than they have ever been.

70
Spectrum Culture

Compared to previous BBNG albums, the world we’re presented with on Talk Memory is less expansive in what directions it wanders in, but to the benefit of greater focus on more direct jazz compositions, which allow for a different breed of meandering to take its place.

70
The Needle Drop

Talk Memory seems like the start of an exciting new chapter for BBNG.

60
NME
Minus founding member Matthew Tavares, the now-trio eschew the hookiness of old in favour of considered jam sessions that only occasionally soar.
60
The Independent

On Talk Memory, BBNG have mostly kicked their habit of slipping into jam-band noodling ... At times this makes for a more considered output; other songs run the risk of overthinking themselves.

60
Crack Magazine

Talk Memory feels a little polite, but in its own way, this album stays true to the outsider spirit that made BBNG exciting in the first place.

60
The Line of Best Fit

Talk Memory is perhaps BADBADNOTGOOD’s least striking album to date, but it’s not their pedigree for jazz which works against them here, it’s expectation.

R1v3r__
80
Great Great Not Boring
DonCorleone
100
Bitch... WHAT?!?! hahahahaha I wish y'all could see the slightly-drunken-stupid smile on my face right now. I kid you not, this is one of the best albums I've ever heard.
Slush_Puppy
70
GOODGOODNOTBAD.
SonicDiscovery
82
After a 5 year gap between albums, Canadian jazz group BadBadNotGood returns with a big slice of jazz fusion on their latest Talk Memory. The boys have always shown great skills as a jazz quartet, but this time they don’t focus too much on hip hop leaning beats and grooves of their previous work, but rather go with something wilder that looks back into the past for inspiration. There are still many strong melodies found here that highlight the best tracks, like the one on “Besides ... read more
Z.Younk
77
Very intricate compositions but a bit too heavily orchestrated for me. I respect it as their most complex yet and it will be rewarding continuing to unbox it all upon subsequent listens; however, I'd have just as well enjoyed something more stripped down, less busy or frantic.
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Added on: July 9, 2021