In 2013 I saw D’Angelo live in Amsterdam at the Paradiso. This was supposedly a few months before the release of his (very) long awaited new album. It took another year however, but then suddenly it was there: Black Messiah.
Since its release, I have listened to the new album dozens of times. It is stunningly good and as far as I’m concerned the 2014 album of the year. I’m not the first one to make the comparison, but this is like Prince in his best years. Many styles combined in one album, but it still feels very organic. It’s just hard to stop listening, the grooves are awesome, there is so much going on in each song, all perfectly produced without sounding too ‘produced’ – all of these songs will also work very well when performed live (proven for ‘Sugah Daddy’ and ‘The Charade’ which were already on D’Angelo’s playlist in 2013).
Personal favorite song: ‘Really Love’, which has the most phenomal intro I have heard in years. The melody is continually passed on from one instrument to the next, Roy Hargrove’s subtle additions, the whispered lyrics, funky guitar and so much more. Listen to the first two minutes of this song and you will be sold.
This album is a must-have for your music collection, it will be referred to for many years as the new standard for funk and soul.