Blipsters' Bust

SA-RA Creative Partners’ new release shows what’s beneath the skinny jeans. (Hint: Not much.)

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Photo Courtesy of SA-RA Creative Partners

The L.A.-based trio SA-RA Creative Partners has been in the music game for nearly a decade, producing joints for Erykah Badu, Jurassic 5 and John Legend, and releasing cult, underground hit singles such as “Glorious” and “Fish Fillet.”

The group—comprised of Om’Mas Keith, Shafiq Husayn and Taz Arnold—have a knack for mixing high-end glamour with lowbrow gulliness: twitchy synthesizer riffs, hazy retro-electronica flourishes, wayward rhythms, dark harmonies and cryptic lyrics that show their reverence for ’70s P-Funk and ’80s New Wave pop. 

This sound—and their elaborate ‘80s-inspired costumes—has earned them a name among the hipster press (Fader and Wire) a brief association with Kanye West’s record company and a viral Obama video that earned them hundreds of thousands of page views.  

But no mainstream record release.  

All of this is to say that for SA-RA fans, Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love (Ubiquity Records), their proper debut full-length national release, has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, Nuclear Evolution feels more like a mixtape than full-length album.

Beneath Nuclear Evoution’s exciting sonic assault is a lack of genuine songcraft. As a result, the quirky sounds of Nuclear Evolution titillates but never wholly gratifies.  

On this album, SA-RA creates a dystopian universe filled with lecherous pimps and self-destructive wannabes. Pornographic imagery runs amok as SA-RA tosses throwaway lyrics such as: 

“Is it that I want you?/Or do I just wanna bone you?” (“Bone Song”)  

“Wanna get in the groove girl and get with you/Maybe, we can just smoke up an ounce or two” (“Can I Get U Hi?”)  

And “You and me/Two on One/Icky, licky, sticky fun” (“Gemini Rising”)