Imagine if you were going on a road trip thru the galaxy and each heavenly body you encountered had its own rhythm. It might sound like Thee Satisfaction’s EarthEE … which is anything but. This album may have been better titled “EtherealEE”. It is beat driven and bass heavy, keeping you grounded with solid melodies, matched soft harmonies and sci-fi rhythms that bring color and comfort to the ride. A ride that happens to feature soul/R&B legend Meshell Ndegeocello.
The album is a full 13 tracks, opening with the poetic “Prophetic Perfection” a snare slappin’ beat that gets your neck ready for the head nodding about to ensue. Local rapper Porter Ray and Ishmael Butler drop in on the the title track “EarthEE”. “Recognition” -definitely an album highlight – opens with a chant over a low Kenyan-inspired rhythm, then returns to the album theme blending into a sonic whizzing keyboard reverb, a paradigm shift and like any outburst, it melts back to its original state. This track is a perfect example of the science fiction influence felt throughout the album. “Sir Come Navigation’’ showcases Cat’s vocals, and a very soulful chorus layered with rich harmonies.
Throughout the album the vocals are reminiscent of an early Jill Scott chorus line that travels to the Northwest to visit the Digable Planets. “Blandland” again featuring Ishmael Butler shows some lyrical flexing, even pushing the envelope as socio/political commentary while honoring some true hip-hop traditions – showcasing some of the most cohesive and comprehensible lyrical work I heard from them thus far. The album ends with a laugh – sending the reminder to relax and have fun. The accompanying artwork matches the spaced-out theme of the album featuring galaxy backgrounds, the ladies riding a dinosaur and baring all on a throne decorated Egyptian-style with lotus flowers – all of which perfectly summarizes the groups’ bold, eclectic style.