Talk Memory by BADBADNOTGOOD Review - Composed Chaos
Talk Memory is Canadian instrumental music group BADBADNOTGOOD’s fifth full-length album. The eight-song EP features cult-followed jazz icon Arthur Verocai on five out of the eight tracks, and Laraaji on “Unfolding (Momentum 73),” Karriem Riggins on “Beside April,” and Terrace Martin and Brandee Younger on “Talk Meaning.”
These partnerships alone make BBNG’s retreat from the rap and R&B covers apparent. “Talk Memory” takes a risk in its jazziness, truly displaying the talent and evolution of the band throughout its years. The album starts with a nine-minute, slow-starting “Signal From The Noise,” showing off a masterfully chaotic overdriven guitar piece towards the end. It cascades into “Unfolding”—best described as how it would sound if the Blue Caterpillar could play sax.
“City of Mirrors” is undoubtedly one of the album’s stand-out songs. Kicking off with Verocai’s classic strings, it marries what he and BBNG are best known for—bending genres and honouring those who came before them with excellence. It earns extra points for the cinematic, James Bond-esque arrangement. “Beside April” and its reprise tie with “Talk Memory” for most unforgettable outro. “Talk Meaning” is artful, but Younger’s harp is what takes it into another atmosphere. The album-closer offers thought-provoking solitude—but not before an impressive show of composition and creativity.
OG BBNG fans may be surprised by how “jazz” this jazz album really is, but they should welcome the surprise with open arms. The subtleties of Talk Memory are worth delving into.
BADBADNOTGOOD is playing at Midway on Thursday, December 9th.