Steven “FlyLo” Ellison usually releases an album of his collapsed nu-jazz every other year to roaring acclaim, but has spent much of the past half-decade producing for Kendrick, mentoring Thundercat and rowing back his imbecilic defence of alleged rapist the Gaslamp Killer. This long-delayed sixth album, weakly based around the concept of fire, is a mixtape sprawl with high-profile features including David Lynch, Solange and Little Dragon. Yet despite being so revered for futurism, Ellison often settles for retreading his past. It feels like these are 27 job applications for top production gigs, rather than songs.
It’s a treat to hear Anderson .Paak and the flame he always brings to a booth on More, but it’s a rare highlight. Burning Down the House refamiliarises us with late-period George Clinton, sounding more than ever like a man struggling to unfold a map on a tram, backed by funk that’s far more Z than P.