Saturday, January 10, 2015

Album Review - D'Angelo and the Vanguard / Black Messiah

I have always blown off D'Angelo.  I thought he was just another 90's R&B Soul Singer flashing his six pack to appeal to the ladies.  He claimed his influences were Marvin Gaye and Al Green but I felt he came off as Barry White and Isaac Hayes.  I am the first to admit that I was wrong.

Who is D'Angelo?  I realized I did not know.  Since the 90's he has only released 2 albums.  That is until Black Messiah.  This is an album that is 14 years in the making.  D'Angelo has always written his own music.  He has always had the right influences.  All of this had to grow up.  They had to learn.  They had to experience the hardships of life. 

14 years later you have Black Messiah.  It's chaotic.  It is chilling.  It is Marvin Gaye, Prince, Funkadelic, Miles Davis, and Sly Stone wrapped all into one.  It's gritty.  The personnel are musicians in the truest sense. 

I had to stop to think what was it about this release that I loved so much.  Is it the 70's feel with the fresh take?  Was it the musicianship or the lyrics?  Then it came to me.  What appealed to me was that it was real.  It is what makes all good music.  You can feel what he feels.  You can taste it.  You can feel the funk.  You can understand the pain.  You are plugged in to D'Angelo.

This is the true essence of soul.  You can just feel it.  I could talk all day about this album but you just have to listen.  Let it speak to you.  Let it move you.  Breathe it in.  It is easily one of the best albums that I have heard this past year.  There has been a void of music this good. 

The problem is I do not think I can wait another 14 years for a follow up.  Hopefully we won't have to.  It is rumored that there were some hard choices to narrow the track list to 12 from 20.  Don't hold back.  Let us have it!

See you when the needle drops!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts