The Austin Chronicle

Kalu & the Electric Joint Record Review

Time Undone (Spaceflight)

Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, December 15, 2017, Music

Like his newly minted U.S. citizenship, the debut album from Kalu & the Electric Joint serves as a new beginning for Kalu James. The Nigerian singer-songwriter has performed largely solo since landing in Austin a decade ago, but Time Undone fleshes out his most obviously realized project to date. James leads a power trio alongside guitarist Jonathan "JT" Holt and drummer John Speice (Grupo Fantasma, Brownout, Money Chicha, et al.), who lay a bed of heavy blues-rock for the frontman's rich, soulful tenor. While the music never trips as overtly as the psychedelic cover art might suggest, effect pedals are put to good use on languid opener "Too Low to Get High," which features the driving doom-synth bass of the Sword's Bryan Richie. The title track boasts Afro-pop and desert blues, while the slide guitar twang of "Sea of Life" resides closer to Nashville than Nigeria. Time Undone speaks a universal language and reveals deceptively simple truths at every turn: "Life goes on, don't be fooled, love is good."


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