12 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Black Messiah ends one of R&B's most mysterious disappearing acts, arriving almost 15 years after D'Angelo's sophomore full-length, Voodoo. Filled with fluid musicianship, political dissent, and bewitching production, Black Messiah is a mosaic of funky, rule-breaking neo-soul that's alternatively rebellious, sensual, and deeply spiritual. The serpentine melodies of D'Angelo's ‘90s work are here, but they’re pushed to an experimental edge by his aptly named band, The Vanguard ((which includes Roots drummer Questlove and jazz luminary Roy Hargrove). Soulful keyboards and richly layered vocal harmonies are at the core of the psych-funk of “Ain’t That Easy” and the piano-driven saunter of “Sugah Daddy,” which stand in contrast to guitar-spiked protest songs like “1000 Deaths” and “The Charade.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Black Messiah ends one of R&B's most mysterious disappearing acts, arriving almost 15 years after D'Angelo's sophomore full-length, Voodoo. Filled with fluid musicianship, political dissent, and bewitching production, Black Messiah is a mosaic of funky, rule-breaking neo-soul that's alternatively rebellious, sensual, and deeply spiritual. The serpentine melodies of D'Angelo's ‘90s work are here, but they’re pushed to an experimental edge by his aptly named band, The Vanguard ((which includes Roots drummer Questlove and jazz luminary Roy Hargrove). Soulful keyboards and richly layered vocal harmonies are at the core of the psych-funk of “Ain’t That Easy” and the piano-driven saunter of “Sugah Daddy,” which stand in contrast to guitar-spiked protest songs like “1000 Deaths” and “The Charade.”

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