Wednesday, December 17, 2014

D'Angelo: 1000 Deaths + Another Life + Ain't That Easy

Released Monday, 'Black Messiah' is only the third album from D'Angelo in close to two decades and the first in fourteen years; luckily his large fan base is the patient, loyal kind. The gutsy choice of title was elaborated on by the artist himself in two articulate paragraphs that I felt were worth posting:

While his reverence for his idol Prince shines through a tad too much in the arrangements of a few of the twelve tracks, there is thankfully plenty of D'Angelo on most of the new collection. And just like Prince, it is when he goes into mad scientist mode that he is at his very best, playing around with beats and riffs to create intricate layers of sound and adding his distinctive vocals on top of it all.

No videos as of yet, but I picked three vaudios (video + audio!) all of which showcase the artist formerly tormented and now back in full force:
1. 1000 Deaths: A runaway funky freight train barreling down the tracks, an unstoppable, gorgeous hot mess.
2. Another Life: Few can do bittersweet like he can; this beautiful ballad is a prime example.
3. Ain't That Easy:  Vintage D'Angelo with the signature beat and still sounding fresh.

His European 'Second Coming' tour kicks off on his 41st birthday February 11 in Zurich and wraps up in Brussels March 7; it includes three shows in the UK February 17, 18 and 20.

NOTE:  Two tracks were co-written with Q-Tip who needs no introduction. More interestingly however, eight tracks were co-written with Kendra Foster, a Florida born and raised, now Brooklyn based talented artist in her own right with a debut solo album in the works. Singing background in D'Angelo's band The Vanguard since 2012 , she has also toured with George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic. Not a bad resume.