D’Angelo has finally arrived with Black Messiah, and he’s summoned his inner Curtis Mayfield and Funkadelic for an instant classic
Stream the album now on Spotify
Some people have waited for fourteen years for D’Angelo. Some people have written the whole thing off. Some people wanted Voodoo Part 2. Some people wanted him to just come from the heart. Everyone needs to put it all aside and just listen.
A couple years back, Questlove was talking about the new album, saying how D had discovered the Beatles, Zeppelin, Bowie, Beach Boys, Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the like. And D’Angelo also started to get serious about guitar playing, looking at P-Funk’s Eddie Hazel, the Ohio Player’s Sugarfoot, and James “Blood” Ulmer as influences.
You can hear it all in this album. The guitar playing is rugged, raw, and amazing. At times, the music sounds progressive, even revolutionary. And the themes rise above baby-making music, a genre D felt trapped in, which is why it took so long to release another record. The whole thing sounds more like Curtis Mayfield than anything to do with ’90s R&B.
“…If you’re wonderin’ about the shape I’m in,” sings D’Angelo on “Back to the Future (Part I)”…
“I hope it ain’t my abdomen that you’re referrin’ to.”
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