D’Angelo’s ‘Black Messiah’ Returns Magic to Music

Posted on December 15, 2014

I considered many titles for this post. I thought “D’Angelo Saves Music” or “D’Angelo Shows Beyoncé How It’s Done” would be fitting. But after listening to his new release Black Messiah, one thing resonated with me: the musicality. Not just the instrumentation or his voice, but the overall musicality. The classic soul elements. The honesty. The experimentation. All of it together makes for a musical experience unlike any you’ve likely had since the release of his last album. In short, he’s delivered on the hype and anticipation.

That’s not to say everything was perfect. His voice, as amazing and distinctive as it is, ain’t what it used to be. There’s more rasp and less smooth than I remember. Some of the arrangements feel awkward. And the only single-worthy track present is “Really Love.” But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe the pursuit of perfection is what has been hobbling the music industry. Because for all of the album’s flaws, Black Messiah has a magic you just don’t hear in music anymore.

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