Reminiscent of some Prince Paul/ Dan The Automator collaboration, Dudley Perkins’ sophomore CD, Expressions (2012 A.U.), which pairs the unlikely singer with the evil genius of Madlib, is every bit as funky, irreverent and quirky as anything by Bootsy, George or Parliament. Psychedelic with a hip-hop and soul vibe, Dudley lays down his “rap” with titles like “Come Here My Dear” and “Coming Home.” His unique voice and sincerity, coupled with “subtle (and not so subtle) humor” was first realized on 2003’s A Lil’ Light (Stones Throw). The album, also produced by Madlib, was a Frankenstein’s monster of funk and hip-hop that allowed the forward thinking muse inside Dudley to introduce itself to the world.
Continuing to call upon early seventies influences, Dudley and Madlib deliver another helping of new millennium funk. The intro, “Funky Dudley” sets it off dirty drums, bass and a horn sample, as Dudley explains why he’s as funky as he is. “Me” backs the singer with a harmonious female chorus that allows his introspective thoughts to have heart, even while he sounds like he could be doing a poor man’s impression of Fatlip singing. The clanky piano loop only adds to the experience. “Separate Ways” slows things down, opening up a romantic lament that might call to mind early eighties groups like S.O.S. Band. “Dear God” expresses Dudley’s feelings towards The Most High, over a clanky percussions and ethereal strings.
Quite possibly the strangest R& B experience you’ll have, Dudley’s Expressions might best be taken with a puff green smoke. However, just like with Prince Paul and Dan, you’ll find yourself drawn to repeated listens despite oddness of the material. Jimi Hendrix might be listening to Dudley on his Heavenly IPOD, even now.