Gary Clark Jr. - This Land
Clark works these lush, layered sounds into a sharply executed piece of roots-pop, enlivening retro cliches through keen hooks and imaginative juxtapositions.
“When I’m Gone” melds an easy Windy City groove to a touch of Latin rumble, “Don’t Wait Til Tomorrow” threads drum loops and samples through its soulful plea. Sometimes Clark and co-producer Jacob Sciba rely on sound over song—it’s possible to envision “Got to Get Up” as an anthem designed to revive flagging audience interest at the tail end of a long set—yet that’s ultimately to the album’s benefit, since their studio concoctions feel more kinetic than a Clark concert. Even better, This Land is the first place where Gary Clark Jr. doesn’t appear hemmed in by the past. The album may be informed by old sounds and forms, yet these familiar tropes feel fresh thanks to Clark’s idiosyncratic splicing—a cross-cultural, pan-genre sensibility that speaks to the modern world as a whole, just as “This Land” speaks to this individual moment. - Pitchfork
"We're calling it: In the rock 'n' roll history books, Gary Clark Jr. will have two eras: before This Land and after it." - Apple Music