Muhsinah’s “The Oscillations: Triangle” is a guilt-free serving of electric ice cream. Each smooth song calls you into a certain mood and leaves your senses shocked and craving more. My ears weren’t prepared to document what I heard on this album. Here’s a bit of what I was able to catch: piano, heartbeats, tambourines, flutes, clapping, beep-boop-beeps, high-hats, and scratching. There were a host of other lovely sounds I couldn’t figure out but they all worked together to create a very special album. It’s hard to limit her to a genre, but her style is close to the alterni-funk singing talents of J*Davey and Janelle Monae while being as classically soulful as Amel Larrieux or Marsha Ambrosius.
One of the things that make this album particularly special is that it was partially arranged by hip-hop producers Oddisee, Flying Lotus and Exile. Amazing for a soul album. A producer in her own right, Muhsinah integrates disparate elements in a way that is both melodic and refreshing. The third track “Always” shows how she seamlessly makes each sound work together. It starts by clapping you into the melody over background shouts and harmonizing voices. Although the middle of the song is nothing to be ignored, the song breaks down into a symphony of different sounds that play perfectly off each other. It’s a wonderful song to check out if you want a taste of her talent. “The Oscillations: Triangle” is a 40-minute roundtrip to a cooler world. Thank iTunes for “repeat.”
Grade: A- (a little bit off because of length)