[25 March 2008]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
Clutchy Hopkins is a weird one. No one knows who or what it is, and this is already whoever-it-is’ second official album. Now, anonymity may be something of a standard marketing ploy, one that usually fades away quickly and forgotten (like the initial identity confusion behind the first Gorillaz and Prozzäk albums), but it’s actually kinda painful here. You see, Clutchy makes about the sickest jazzy funk, live hip-hop fusion this side of Galactic’s From the Corner to the Block. The more you hear, the more the question of who brought it to you burns in your mind. Who is Keyser Söze?
Walking Backwards is the sound of Miles Davis (late ‘60s) and Fink jamming with ?uestlove (The Roots), and that is not a generous comparison. While moments here and there on the debut arguably hinted at a possible bedroom producer amongst the warm bass, electric piano, booty guitar, and lounge drumming, this album is practically flawless and genre-less. Style wise, only the Darondo assisted “Love Of A Woman” features any words and, though they express the aching soul of the search for and the inspiring presence of women, those vocals are not in rap form. Clutchy Hopkins is its own brand. Better buy in now while the price is low.