Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee – Matana Roberts

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Musician and composer Matana Roberts offers a quick follow up to Chapter Two of her Coin Coin series with the release of ‘Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee’. The new album sees Roberts expanding upon the groundwork established with the first two Coin Coin albums, though this time incorporating a great number of new elements and ideas. Chapter Three offers much the same in terms of themes and concepts, though presented in a wholly different package. On her latest record, we see Roberts expanding out musically, showing us even more of her capabilities and talents, all of which result in another wonderful album experience.

‘Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee’ musically seems to depart from the more jazz-orientated previous chapters, instead opting for more ambient soundscapes to establish the tone of the album. Musically the album seems to depart from conventional genre classification, instead taking elements here and there of many genres to offer up a musically rich album experience. The many themes and ideas first presented on the previous two albums work their way into these new sounds being presented by Matana, offering us something that feels both new and continual of what’s already been established.

Whilst elements of jazz music work their way into the various tracks, it seems ‘Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee’ isn’t dominated by the style so much, as opposed to the previous two efforts. Whilst this is very admirable in a way of showing us Matana expanding her musical boundaries, it does offer elements of unfamiliarity to fans of Matana’s jazz style. ‘Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee’ seems to offer a wholly new musical experience, which might be disappointing to some, though it works well for the album itself, showing that there’s much, much more to come from Roberts in the future.

‘Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee’ is certainly different in many ways, though the best kind of different. Roberts has wonderfully expanded on her project in brilliant style, working in new ideas and elements to push along the continuing story with wonderful freshness. With three chapters now presented of Roberts’ Coin Coin series, we can start to see the overlying themes and ideas, as well as some wonderful musical motifs that help string everything together. It feels as though Roberts has an incredibly clear vision of what she wants to present with these albums, and she’s certainly presenting each in many wonderful styles.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • All Is Written
  • Dreamer of Dreams
  • Nema, Nema, Nema
  • Come Away

Matana Robert’s latest album ‘Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Runs Thee’ is out now on Constellation Records.

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