(Photo courtesy of OkayPlayer.com)
If you’ve never heard of Michael Archer, better known as D’Angelo, you’re missing out on some soul moving music that is timeless. I still blow my speakers out with the vibrations of his “Voodoo” album released in 2000. Or the sultry sounds of “Brown Sugar“, his first studio release. His fans have waited almost 15 years for him to release something and it’s finally here. D’Angelo and The Vanguards (his band) released “Black Messiah” last night at a listening party in New York as well as on Spotify or for purchase on iTunes! Audiophiles and fans of good music will appreciate this album. As one of my Instagram followers put it, it was like reconnecting with an old friend.
D’Angelo does a great job of maintaining his funk and raw instrumentation that only he can deliver. His familiar musical mumbles that sway towards sounding like an instrument rather than words are layered all over this album. He’s taken it to another level by adding gritty guitar licks and rock inspirations reminiscent of Jimmy Hendrix. You can still pick out (no pun intended) Questlove on the drums and what sounds like Roy Hargrove’s (speculative) compositions on “Sugah Daddy”.
Produced by D’Angelo, he brought in Q-Tip and Kendra Foster, especially with writing to help bring this album together. According Ambrosia for Heads, the album was analog recorded on 2″ tape with no plug-ins or digital effects! What a feat. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard this talented musician, but it’s good to have you back D’Angelo.
Below, you can listen to his latest album on Spotify:
Track list and credits:
1. Ain’t That Easy (Music by D’Angelo; Lyrics by D’Angelo, Q-Tip and Kendra Foster)
2. 1000 Deaths (Music by D’Angelo; Lyrics by D’Angelo and Kendra Foster)
3. The Charade (Music by D’Angelo and Questlove; Lyrics by D’Angelo and Kendra Foster)
4. Sugah Daddy (Music by D’Angelo, Pino Palladino and James Gadson; Lyrics by D’Angelo, Q-Tip and Kendra Foster)
5. Really Love (Music by D’Angelo, Lyrics by D’Angelo and Kendra Foster)
6. Back In The Future (Part I) (Music and Lyrics by D’Angelo)
7. Till It’s Done (Tutu) (Music by D’Angelo, Questlove and Pino Palladino; Lyrics by D’Angelo and Kendra Foster)
8. Prayer (Music and Lyrics by D’Angelo)
9. Betray My Heart (Music and Lyrics by D’Angelo)
10. The Door (Music by D’Angelo; Lyrics by D’Angelo and Kendra Foster)
11. Back In The Future (Part II) (Music and Lyrics by D’Angelo)
12. Another Life (Music by D’Angelo and Questlove; Lyrics by D’Angelo and Kendra Foster)