Imagine some clueless kid in the future tuning into OutKast, and loving their music and especially our cutie little boy Andre, then discovering about this sweet project, getting all excited to find out Andre released an actual solo album, just to hear these whimsical ass woowoos over here and fall asleep forever.
seriously though, André 3000 obviously needs no introduction, one of the best rappers of all time and one of my personal favorites. Andre didn't release any music since the latest OutKast album back in 2006, besides his EP in 2018 "Look Ma No Hands". Fans were starving for a new project, and Andre... kinda delivered?
To be completely honest, I wasn't really expecting a new hip hop album from Andre in the near future, he made it very clear that he wasn't in the right mindset for coming back to hip hop in many interviews, lacking any motivation. Andre said that he feels like he has nothing to say, and forcing a rap project didn't feel right to him at all. So while I suspected an Andre return to music won't be a traditional one, I wasn't really expecting a 90 minute flute album.
Although I've seen videos of Andre walking randomly in the streets with a flute, I still found it hard to imagine him releasing a full length instrumental album. But then again, Andre releasing a 90 minute flute album after so many years of complete silence might be the most Andre 3000 thing he's done in....ever.
On this album Andree follows his own artistic vision once again uncompromisingly, creating a spiritual experience that reflects his current self in the most accurate way possible. Soothing transcendent soundscapes of new age ambiance, that are captivating the listener effortlessly, or how Tyler, The Creator said: "It feels like chasing a butterfly in a garden". While many old stuns would probably be very disappointed with this, I'm glad Andre is being Andre.
With a wide variety of instruments from the flute, digital woodwinds, cymbals and chimes to gentle keyboards and synths, the atmosphere these instrumentals are creating is calming and incredibly immersive. The album is very slow, but if you let yourself get lost in its beauty, it's gorgeously heavenly and especially rewarding.
It seems like many songs are improvised, with Andre learning about the instrumentals as he's playing them, and you can hear it a little bit in the randomness of some of the instruments, but there's some kind of a charm in it, resulting the album to be stunningly authentic and even more intriguing in a way, with Andre's experimentation.
The most structured songs throughout the tracklist are probably the first and the last tracks, with clearer progressions, delicate climaxes and thoughtful arrangements, while the second and third tracks are sounding almost completely improvised, with Andre and the other musicians playing off each other quite randomly. These two songs are probably my least favorite, due to some of the sections being slightly too long, sticking onto certain melodies or ideas without developing them for many minutes. So the album does have its dragged out moments.
I will say that the album's enjoyment is coming more from the soundscapes themselves rather than the actual playing. It's about immersing yourself in these relaxing arrangements, and not getting some impressively complex chord progressions or fancy playing in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, New Blue Sun is a great flute album by one of the greatest rappers of all time (A sentence that shouldn't make any sense). But in all seriousness, Andre is one of the most vibrant artists of all time, and he displays that once again on this album. Now please go to the nearest studio and record a rap album, thank you :)
Favorite: I swear, I Really Wanted To Make A "Rap" Album..., Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Your Lord & Savior J.C. / Bundy..., Ants To You, Gods To Who ?, Dreams Once Buried Beneath The Dungeon Floor...
Least favorite: That Night In Hawaii...