Sunday, September 10, 2017

Vinyl Review: "The Mess We Made" by Tomas Doncker & The True Groove All-Stars

The Mess We Made
Let's start off at the beginning. Your friend and humble narrator, is a straight, white, male in America who's only recently truly become aware of his innate privilege.

To say anything else would be a lie.

If you look at the cover of this album, you'll see depictions of things that hit very close to home, literally. My neighborhood had protests.

(Trigger Warning: If you support Americans waving the flags of our enemies, you're going to be pissed off in about 25 words or so.)

Donald Trump is the embodiment of all of these things that I'm alluding to. Let's not be so naive to think that he's the beginning of all of this, as Tomas Doncker says, bullshit that we are dealing with in the United States.

We have Nazis, Confederates, and White Nationalists planning marches all over the United States of America. These terrorists are enemies of the United States and Trump has emboldened them, as noted by their "Make America Great Again" hats or their shouting of Heil Trump!

Again, Donald Trump didn't create these enemies of the USA, but he has emboldened them. If you think they're not our enemies, imagine if they were carrying an ISIS flag rather than a Nazi or Confederate Flag....

Tomas Doncker
The Nazis, the Confederacy, and ISIS all have engaged in war on Americans. If you carry any of those flags, you are our enemy.

That's what happens to me when I simply look upon the cover of The Mess We Made.

It's not subtle. It will remind of you what's going on in America if you're not white.

That's not the end of it. Doncker and friends have a lot to say about what's happening under our noses.

The social commentary has lots of foreshadowing on the cover, and anyone of any reasonable intelligence can get an idea of where this is all going, so I'm not going to expound upon it anymore.

Years ago, one of my favorite comedians, Tim Wilson, told a joke about Marvin Gaye singing a song called Mercy Me. That song apparently did the trick, if you take my meaning. The song, as Wilson opined, was about fish with mercury in their stomachs.

The Mess We Made reminds me so much of that bit. The songs are imminently danceable. This album stands right in the middle of a Venn Diagram showing Funk, R&B, and protest music. It's right in the middle. The E region if you will.

These songs are all of those things, yet none of them as well. No matter how great a message in a song is, if the song sucks, no one will care. If Jimi Hendrix wasn't so great, no one would've listened to a word he said and the same goes for the Doors.

Tomas Doncker is willing to have the uncomfortable conversation at Thanksgiving, but he'll give you a sweet guitar lick, a whirling swirling Hammond Organ, and a catchy song that'll move your feet as a token of thanks.

That's really a pretty sweet deal. A spoonful of whiskey to help the medicine go down, as it were.

This album cannot be heard on CD or MP3. You're going to get an inferior product compared to what's hitting my ears right now. The expansiveness of vinyl is a big part of what makes this sound so amazing.

A digital or CD version of this is going to be compressed for the loudness war and it's not going to give you the full experience.

This is not a hyper-mega-super special edition. It's just a great album, pressed onto a thick vinyl slab, and packed with literally nothing else, not even a lyric sheet.

But...if you got the truth, what more do you need?

Release: Out Now
Genre: Funk
Label: True Groove Records

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