Monday, December 15, 2014

D’Angelo released Black Messiah

Black Messiah


Released: December 15, 2014

Peak: 5 US, 14 RB, 47 UK, 17 CN, 50 AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: R&B


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Ain’t That Easy
  2. 1000 Deaths
  3. The Charade
  4. Sugah Daddy
  5. Really Love (12/15/14, 43 RB)
  6. Back to the Future (Part I)
  7. Till It’s Done (Tutu)
  8. Prayer
  9. Betray My Heart (6/9/15, --)
  10. The Door
  11. Back to the Future (Part II)
  12. Another Life

Total Running Time: 55:54


4.430 out of 5.00 (average of 28 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

With 1995’s Brown Sugar and 2000’s Voodoo, D’Angelo made “two classics that twisted gospel, soul, funk, and hip-hop with aloof but deep-feeling swagger.” AMG Then he disappeared for fourteen years. That built up “impossible levels of anticipation for…Black Messiah, [but] was worth the wait.” RS’20

“D’Angelo retains the rhythmic core that helped him create Voodoo, namely Questlove, bassist Pino Palladino, and trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and adds many players to the mix, including guitarist Jesse Johnson and drummers James Gadson and Chris Dave. Q-Tip contributed to the writing of two songs, but a greater impact is made by Kendra Foster, who co-wrote the same pair, as well as six additional numbers, and can often be heard in the background.” AMG

The album “invites comparisons to the purposefully sloppy funk of Sly & the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On.” AMG D’Angelo brings “a new political rage to deep-soul grooves” RS’20 to “the dreamy churn” AMG of “The Charade, responding to the Black Lives Matter movement: ‘All we wanted was a chance to talk / Instead we only got outlined in chalk.’” RS’20

There are also “societal ruminations within the fiery judder of 1000 DeathsAMG and “the falsetto blues of Till It’s Done, fueled as much by current planetary ills and race relations as the same ones that prompted the works of D’Angelo’s heroes, strike the deepest.” AMG

“Among the material that concerns spirituality, devotion, lost love, and lust, D’Angelo and company swing, float, and jab to nonstop grimace-inducing effect. On the surface, Sugah Daddy seems like an unassuming exercise in fusing black music innovations that span decades, and then, through close listening, the content of D’Angelo’s impish gibberish becomes clear. At the other end, there’s Another Life, a wailing, tugging ballad for the ages that sounds like a lost Chicago-Philly hybrid, sitar and all, with a mix that emphasizes the drums.” AMG

Black Messiah clashes with mainstream R&B trends as much as Voodoo did in 2000. Unsurprisingly, the artist’s label picked this album’s tamest, most traditional segment – the acoustic ballad Really Love – as the first song serviced to commercial radio. It’s the one closest to ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel),’ the Voodoo cut that, due to its revealing video, made D’Angelo feel as if his image was getting across more than his music.” AMG

“In the following song, the strutting Back to the Future (Part I), D’Angelo gets wistful about a lost love and directly references that chapter: ‘So if you’re wondering about the shape I’m in / I hope it ain’t my abdomen that you’re referring to.’ The mere existence of his third album evinces that, creatively, he’s doing all right.” AMG

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First posted 4/25/2022.

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