The Journey Man by GoldieRelease date: June 16, 2017
Certain artists will never repeat the impact of their debut album it seems. With every album Nas releases, it will never compare to Illmatic. The same with DJ Shadow and Endtroducing. It has been said that the same could apply to Goldie, that he would never better his first album Timeless and all further works would be compared to that first album salvo. That album was aptly named, the encapsulation of a time, a place and above all else, a feeling. The crowning glory of the rise of jungle/drum & bass that had been rapidly growing for years.
Over the past few years, Goldie (such a larger than life character both musically and in reality) has revisited that storied debut in his DJ sets and in live shows with various orchestras but he is an artist who has always been about taking risks and looking to the future and someone who while touching on and being influenced by the past, would never be stuck in the past. The Journey Man may never have the impact of Timeless but it wasn’t meant to. It is about looking to the past (and in that it definitely resembles Timeless in spirit) in order to see the future and with that it succeeds as a bold and exciting piece of work.
The album is obviously a drum & bass album at its heart (and a welcome addition to the storied Metalheadz catalogue) but takes in so many influences along the way too such as techno, soul and jazz and Goldie has always been an artist with so many different genres of influence and this is all encapsulated on this album.
The Journey Man starts with the soulful ‘Horizons’ and this sets the scene for an epic journey, one that takes in so many areas of sound such as the tech-step of ‘Prism’, the soulful jazzy soul of ‘Mountains’, the passionate liquid d&b of ‘The Mirrored River’, The Ulterior Motive collaboration ‘I Adore You’ which features some beautiful vocals courtesy Of Natalie Williams, the vastness of ‘Redemption’, the prime Metalheadz vibe of ‘The River Mirrored’ and the heartfelt conclusion of ‘Run Run Run’ to name but a few but you must listen to the album as a whole and they will all leap out at you, some more subtle than others.
This is a vast album and yes, the album is a little too long in places but this is a minor point as this is meant to be a sprawling piece of work as documented in the albums title. You need to take the time to immerse yourself in this music, it is certainly worth the effort.
If anyone could have titled their album The Journey Man, it, again, seems most apt for Goldie and with this album, he has made an album that that is certainly an epic listen but also a most rewarding one. It is testament to the high regard that Goldie is held in as an artist that not many people could release their new album almost twenty years on from his last one and for it still be worth the wait, which The Journey Man certainly is.