D'Angelo's Black Messiah. Available here on Double LP and Standard CD.
The prodigal son of the soul and funk canon, D'Angelo, is back! His ever-awaited third studio album, Black Messiah, is his first album since the critically acclaimed Voodoo, bringing to an end a 14-year hiatus. The album blends 70's jazz-funk and neo-soul. Black Messiah is a study in controlled chaos. The nightmarish chorus of "1000 Deaths" arrives late and fierce, as though the band unfurled its crunchy, lumbering vamp just long enough to violently snatch it out from under us. "The Charade"'s Minneapolis sound funk rock follows, every bit as bright as the previous track was menacing until you zero in on the threadbare heart-sickness of D and P-Funk affiliate Kendra Foster’s lyrics. Black Messiah pulls together disparate threads few predecessors have had the smarts or audacity to unite. One song might channel Funkadelic, another, the Revolution, but the shiftless mad doctor experimentation and the mannered messiness at the root of it all is unmistakably the Vanguard. Black Messiah is a dictionary of soul, but D'Angelo is the rare classicist able to filter the attributes of the greats in the canon into a sound distinctly his own. It’s at once familiar and oddly unprecedented, a peculiar trick to pull on an album recorded over the span of a decade.
LPx2 - Double LP.
CD - Standard CD.