In the wake of James Blake’s stellar 2011 debut album (and less-celebrated work by the no less-excellent British singer/producer Jamie Woon), a gauzy, futuristic sensibility has taken root in a strain of soul and R&B. Few artists are capable of pulling it off with Blake’s experimental flare and delicate flourishes, but Vicktor Taiwò’s “Digital Kids” is a satisfying exercise in electronic soul.
Over an airy, plodding beat from Londoner Felix Joseph (the mind behind Elli Ingram’s excellent “Poetic Justice” cover from earlier this year), Taiwò alternates between mourning a child’s eyes being open to the world’s plight (“you know a kid like you/ain’t supposed to know/that the world is broken/the soul is frozen”) and providing pained hope (“I bet you never knew, never knew, never knew/earth could be this bright/ain’t it something?”). Rapper Solomon’s low-key, monotone delivery makes a fine accompaniment, a bookend to a gorgeous balancing act between eulogy and ode. It’s affecting music that puts a current sonic fixation of R&B to great use.