FINALLY!!! After 14 years the Richmond, Virgina native has come back with a new album. ‘Black Messiah’ was released at midnight on Mon Dec 15th.
He teased us with his first single ‘Sugah Daddy‘ which caused a huge buzz on social media. There had been talk for years that he was working on an album, but hearing this new single signified that this was going to be the D’angelo we’d been waiting for. But was the album going to live up to the anticipation that had been brewing for over 10 years? Could D’angelo top the 1995 ‘Brown Sugar’ and 2000’s ‘Vodoo’, which both have positioned him as part of the neo-soul movement that peaked in the late 1990s.
So while the rest of us waited once again, D’angelo held a listening party in New York City on Sun Dec 14th to showcase the new album to a room full of taste-makers, reporters, bloggers and fellow artists. The party was hosted by Afropunk and I suggest you check out their Instagram page for some cool pics from that party. As Tweets and pictures from the party surfaced on Twitter the buzz became louder and louder from music lovers who were now salivating for new music.
Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Funkadelic’s Kendra Foster contributed lyrics while ?uestlove from the legendary Roots crew played on the album. Another cool factor about this album is that it was recorded in all analog, not digital. D’angelo keeping it real authentic on this. He provided a brief intro to the album –
“Black Messiah’ is a hell of a name for an album. It can be easily misunderstood. Many will think it’s about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I’m calling myself a Black Messiah. For me the title is about all of us. It’s about the world. It’s about an idea we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah. It’s about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and everyplace where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It’s not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them. Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are) but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where these songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It’s a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader.”
From social injustice, environmental crisis to love D’angelo uplifts soul and spirit on this album. I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. Especially ‘Really Love’, ‘1000 Deaths’ and ‘Charade’. The blend of the powerful music provided by his band The Vanguard and D’angelo’s molasses like voice, this album is definitely worth the wait.
01 Ain’t That Easy
02 1000 Deaths
03 The Charade
04 Sugah Daddy
05 Really Love
06 Back in the Future (Part I)
07 Till It’s Done (Tutu)
09 Betray My Heart
10 The Door
11 Back in the Future (Part II)
12 Another Life
Check out the album and let me know what you think.