- Released: 2020
- Origin: Brooklyn, New York/Atlanta, Georgia, USA
- Label: Jewel Runners/BMG
- Best Track: A Few Words for the Firing Squad
I’ve been procrastinating with this album for the same reason as I did with Fiona Apple’s – I’m aware of how much people like it and fear I won’t do it justice. The toughest albums to review are ones where you can tell they’re good, but they’re just not what you normally go for.
RTJ4 is a powerful work, there’s no doubt about that, and timely with its references to race and police brutality throughout.
Musically, I favour the more bass-heavy and rock-driven tracks like ‘The Ground Below’. Lyrically, I’m particular impressed by ‘JU$T’ and its refrain of “Look at all these slave masters posing on your dollar, and though I’m going off on a tangent, isn’t it time we had a serious discussion over here on Winston Churchill’s views on black people and support for Boer concentration camps rather than just constantly lauding him as a war hero and sticking his face on a £5 note?
The music and lyrics come together best on ‘Walking in the Snow’ (including a bang up-to-date reference to George Floyd’s last words) and the exhilarating closer ‘A Few Words for the Firing Squad’.
Though it’s not an album I’m likely to return to regularly, you feel it would be a hard one to omit from any list of best albums of the year.