Soulshowmike’s album picks: A Rex Theater favorite and The Purple One | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Soulshowmike’s album picks: A Rex Theater favorite and The Purple One

click to enlarge Weedie Braimah with The Nth Power at The Rex Theater in 2015 - PHOTO: MIKE CANTON
Photo: Mike Canton
Weedie Braimah with The Nth Power at The Rex Theater in 2015
Confession: I was never really a Prince follower. Fandom isn’t earned by liking or loving 30 songs of a megastar, and it requires knowing things like discography sequence, the “phases,” and credits. Now, this doesn’t mean that Prince is not important to me. I have total respect, but there’s just a personal resonance that doesn’t happen. You understand. Everyone knows at least one icon that way.

Welcome 2 America is the 2021 posthumous album that trickled in via some early singles. The title track opens with a bassline reminiscent of “People Make The World Go Round” by The Stylistics. That didn’t make a great first impression, but then everything went north quickly. One reviewer observed nine of the twelve tracks are radio friendly. I counted off the same. Most significantly, “Welcome” is rife with social commentary, and it’s interesting to hear The Purple One’s perspective in the period it was recorded, 2009-10.

I deliberately listened to the album as background music while multitasking. Were I totally unfamiliar with Prince, this album would have blown me away. Much of it is earthy and stripped-down. Not being an acolyte, “Welcome” makes me think about digging into that huge discography to find another 100 gems.
While I have your attention, check out Weedie Braimah’s album The Hands of Time when it drops in September. Rex Theater regulars will remember his djembe playing with The Nth Power. Some might call it World Music. For me, it’s home.
Mike Canton is the longtime host and producer of The Soul Show on WYEP 91.3FM. He recently launched a syndicated edition of the program, now airing in three markets. Both are produced in his Electric Basement Studios. Canton is also a Pittsburgh-area voice artist.

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