In the early months of 2017, the United States was in the midst of a political change marked by a fierce and dirty campaign by the Republican candidate who would go on to win the presidential election. Donald Trump’s attack on “fake news” made for an easy way for him to sneak past his lies and deception by claiming his enemies were spreading false narratives about him. By victimising himself and turning his campaign into somewhat of an underdog mission, Americans bowed down.
By the time ‘Truth’ by saxophonist leader Kamasi Washington was released, the entire concept of truth was being dissected by the talking heads of cable news, filling our 24-hour infotainment with easy to digest, Twitter-ready rants that aimed to stir political discourse. Washington brought forth his own examination of the subject with a gorgeous, masterful opus clocking in at just over 13 minutes.
The main harmony of ‘Truth’ is woven and injected into different canyons of the track, constantly evolving from steady piano taps to titanic sized choral bellows. Washington’s saxophone screams all the while roaring drums are rolling behind him. Weeping strings accompany the plucking of a cello closer to the middle. The entire songs slices through your ears as feelings of rage balloon inside of you. The entire track’s urgency hardly goes unnoticed, like Washington is trying to tell you to get up and do something. What that something is, I’m not sure. If the title is a hint, it may be to pursue unarmed truth.
Check out more underrated songs from the decade here.
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