Third Time’s The Charm | “I’ll Take Care of You” – Gil Scott-Heron

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Third Time’s The Charm | “I’ll Take Care of You” – Gil Scott-Heron

Matt Stando, Senior Staff Editor

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In case you aren’t aware, today is the 14th of February, commonly known as Valentine’s Day. Given that, I’d be remiss to not talk about a song that deals with love and devotion. 

Though Gil Scott-Heron passed almost a decade ago, his final album I’m New Here is still finding new life. British label XL Recordings has recently re-released the album, reimagined through the creative guidance of jazz drummer-producer Makaya McCraven

This is the third release of Heron’s final recording sessions, and the second with remixing and reimagining. The first came in 2011 when XL label-mate Jamie xx, producer for The xx, created a remix album cheekily titled We’re New Here. Jamie’s album transformed the original into a club-ready, nocturnal soundscape.

McCraven’s new reimagining of the album returns Heron’s haunting vocals into a traditional jazz environment. As it is probably the most well-known track off the original record, “I’ll Take Care of U” seemed like the appropriate choice for examination. Through Jamie xx’s production, the track was transformed into a UK garage-style banger with a more joyous tone. Later in 2011, Drake used Jamie xx’s production as the backing to his track “Take Care.”

The track is an R&B standard and was hardly new when Heron offered his take on it. While the lyrics suggest something joyous, the 2010 recording is somber as he sings with pain in his voice. He seems to be reassuring an unnamed love his devotion to them. 

McCraven’s reimagining set’s Heron’s against a backdrop of repeating piano keys, harp strings and a calming percussive beat. The dreamy harp plucking and hopeful piano gives the track a new feeling of both excitement and encouragement. While it differs from Heron’s original version, McCraven pays tribute quite respectfully. 

I’m New Here and We’re New Here are two of my favorite albums so I was apprehensive of McCraven’s We’re New Again. However, the album is one of my favorite records I’ve heard in a while.

Whether you’re single, going on a first date tonight, or have been married for 27 years, this song should be played today.