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Airtight's Revenge (Bonus Track Version)

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Editors’ Notes

Nine years in the making, Bilal’s sophomore effort not only embodies its author’s musical innovations, but also reflects its own tortured birthing process. Conceived in the fallout of Bilal’s unreleased Love for Sale project in 2004, Airtight’s Revenge is the offspring of label hassles, creative frustrations and mounting pressures. Rather than letting those pressures impede on his vision, Bilal used them to fuel his fire. Airtight’s Revenge is paranoid and fractured — the perfect commentary on Bilal’s struggles over the past five years. It would have been easy for him to make another smooth neo-soul album. Instead, his sophomore effort subverts the audience’s expectations and refracts the whole notion of buttery R&B. That’s not to say it isn’t a pleasure to listen to. Bilal is as gentle and seductive as ever, but his rhythms and arrangements are unnerving, and darkly delirious. These songs draw as much from Autechre and Broadcast as they do Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. Airtight’s Revenge is not just another R&B outing — this collection of songs will reveal new dreams and secrets over the course of repeated listenings.

Customer Reviews

Masterpiece

At the end of the day true artistry is about honesty. The only way to be you is to be honest and this is exactly what Bilal has done with this album. Airtight's Revenge is worth every excruciating second of the wait!!!!!

Real Music.....

"Think it over" really captures everything I'm feeling and just touches the depth of my soul.....Honest music always wins..no gimmicks..just pure music...

Long Awaited Gem

Overall, this long awaited LP has very interesting, genre jumping production. Songwriting is solid and insightful. Singing is sincere, unique as to be expected from this classic voice. "Move On", though sounds production sounds like a missing Van Hunt single, will bring some new fans to the deeper cuts on the album. "Think It Over" features a hyper simple steely Bobby Womack style guitar loop, nicely fitting with minimal loosely quantized programming. *"Cake & Eat It Too" we start to get into the real meat of the record. Here, the detuned, loosely quantized beat, reminiscent of J Dilla, Waajeed/PPP combines with synthy textures and noise bringing us towards Flying Lotus. Vocally he has more character, a little smoked out, a more polished and conversational Dudley Perkins almost. "Levels" an acoustic piano reverbs behind some brilliantly chaotic textures, bass notes, light drum fills - stand out production. "All Matters", another Van Hunt starting place, but quickly expands to new sonic territory. His voice here balances with the frenetic drumming. "Flying" genius.

Biography

Born: August 23, 1979 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

If there was one R&B artist for whom the neo-soul categorization seemed limiting, it was Philadelphia native Bilal. None of his recordings resembled the sycophantic worship of soul artists who thrived in the '60 and '70s, and it wasn't just because his voice — classically trained, capable of singing opera in seven languages — was so unique. While some inspirations were detectable, his recordings were wholly modern and became increasingly creative. His individuality led to being dropped...
Full Bio
Airtight's Revenge (Bonus Track Version), Bilal
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