Aja Monet "When The Poems Do What They Do" 2XLP (2023)
Details: Aja Monet "When The Poems Do What They Do" 2XLP (2023, Drink Sum Wtr). Black vinyl. New stock, sealed.
Description: "Aja Monet's poems are a work of gravity. They are fundamental for which all things are attracted, considered upon, and enacted toward. Her work moves, constantly, between origin and outcome, allowing them to exist in converse. In her debut album when the poems do what they do, we glimpse her indefatigable commitment to speak. Those thematic origins of this album at times center around Black resistance, love, and the inexhaustible quest for joy.
When the poems do what they do Aja Monet appears as a woman of letters and storm, her poems do not roar in pentameter - but rather in storm surge because, "Who's got time for poems when the world is on fire?!." And this work isn't one to pull apart into one-liners, these are poems of things felt. There is a fullness here that can't be encapsulated in even the boundaries that language offers. Aja Monet is a griot, a storyteller, a chronicler, and your grandmother telling you about her first love all at once. These are baby-making poems - literally the spring enacting upon the cherry trees. These are poems of urgency and want and the rallying cry to demolish the insidious systems from which our futures seem to be wrought, in other words, "If we had a sense of humor we'd be more radical. More migrant than citizen we'd breathe the air clean and ration our resources...we would melt ALL the guns." You will find yourself readying arms because of these poems, and simultaneously mourning the unstoppable loss of names already destined to be immortalized. Aja Monet crafts a work as she always does, that can be entered from many doors. These aren't poems for poets, but poems for everyone.
She is joined in effort on this album by musicians Christian Scott (trumpet), Samora Pinderhughes (piano), Elena Pinderhughes (flute), Luques Curtis (bass), Weedie Braimah (djembe), and Marcus Gilmore (drums). Together creating music that is insistent and unrelenting. There are songs reminiscent of jazz club virtuosity and melee, others of a healing balm in Gilead, and the chords of Castaway move like that of the call to intercessory prayer."
Grade: M (new stock)