Geoff Wilkinson returns with the sixth album in his quest for sonic satisfaction, “Say What?” [ US3CD003], and this time has reversed himself from three years ago when I reviewed “Questions”, and brought back singers and rappers from the previous album! Oh, wow, can Armageddon be far behind?? He also added a bright young, gorgeous (Geoff’s description), Parisian female voice named Adeline, and her soft yet strong vocal textures are featured right off the bat on “Say You Belong To Me”, a good opening number and title track if you go by the “Say what, say what, say whaaa...” hook. The hold-overs from last year’s “Schitzophonic” are Gaston and Akil Dasan. One or both kick in to bring the message of “Man On Top”; points off for far too many worn clichéd rhymes. Think up some new ones! The soprano sax on “Afrodisiac” implied the mood of a snake charmer or Karma Sutra harem.
These tunes vacillate between funky hip hop (some of it annoying), smooth jazz-type tracks, and en masse big city lyrics with frequent punctilious tattoos by the double-bass drummer Phil Donkin. My favorite track is number five, “I Don’t Care” with more original, socially conscious lyrics (that make sense) featured, plus a long guitar-fed instrumental vamp to the end. I hear a mellow upright bass groove on “The Day I Died”, while “How ‘Bout It Baby” relies upon a Latin-style piano for its identity.
Late in the disc, it is a fun jam session with the band taking turns in solo mode on “I’ll Be Right Back!” No terrestrial radio airplay allowed on the last tune, “Money On My Mind” due to multiple “mf”-bombs. My last parse of US3 included the foresight that we should hear more from Wilkinson’s dope concept, and so we are. If there is a seventh installment, I would like less chatter, more polished orchestration arrangements, and more of Adeline (vocally and on the cover). Something tells me I like this one just a little less than “Questions” and therefore three stars are the answer to the rhetorical title, “ask me again, and I’ll tell you the same”.