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Friday, February 20

Adam's Pick of the Week: Arthur Russell - Calling Out of Context

Calling Out of Context may be the best of Arthur Russell's posthumous releases. Technically a compilation, it works well as an album, largely because the bulk of the songs found here are unreleased material meant for an album that never came to be. Call it what you want, but this is Russell at the crossroads between avant-garde minimalism and pop - a place where he was likely most comfortable. In a career that found the NYC icon diving into experimental composition, dance music (arguably early hip-hop), jazz, spoken word, and countless styles of folk singing, Russell was at his best when he was able to combine his avant-garde ethos with his pop songwriter heart. This collection is the most undeniable example of the, ahem, wild combination, that has made Arthur Russell such a beloved character and artist.

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