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Expressions (2012 A.U.):Dudley Perkins

Artist: Dudley Perkins

Date Released: 2006

Label: Stones Throw

Produced By: Madlib


  1. Funky Dudley
  2. Me
  3. Testin' Me
  4. Get on Up
  5. Come Here My Dear
  6. That's the Way It's Gonna Be
  7. Domestic Interlude
  8. Separate Ways
  9. Dollar Bill
  10. Inside
  11. The Last Stand
  12. Coming Home
  13. Dear God


I don’t know if anyone was really predicting a significant amount of progression from Stones Throw’s warbling crooner Dudley Perkins; in fact, I’m pretty sure most people took his confusingly addictive debut album as Dudley (he also used to rap under the moniker Declaime), A Lil’ Light, as nothing but humorous kitsch. But as his sophomore album blatantly states, whether by Madlib’s A-game beats and production or Dudley’s progressive strides in songwriting, Mr. Perkins is a significant force all his own in modern funk-soul music. Carving an immensely individual niche, Dudley pairs a truly distinctive voice with mischievous lyrics about his favorite subjects, weed, music, women and his god (whom, in the final track, he has a conversation with about his proud addiction to marijuana). While the album is solid as a whole, the first five tracks are simply amazing in comparison to his sporadic debut. Madlib paints a colorful canvas of 70s funk and soul, while Dudley enlists his strongest assets to the nth degree, unconventional note-hanging and scatting with unparalleled adlibs and vocal layering. ‘Funky Dudley’ is the perfect introduction, as he repeatedly asks himself over Parliament funk, ‘how’d you get so funky, Dudley?’ ‘Testin’ Me’ with its instantly familiar piano loop may be the pinnacle Dudley Perkins track, simple, laid back and chock full of rhetorical questions and comments about the hardships of life and the pursuit of personal happiness. His debut definitely left questions about where could he go, if anywhere, from there; ‘Expressions’ is a potent answer, but only really entices more questions about the possibilities of Dudley and his beloved music. Mpardaiolo

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