B, 1966: OK, I will admit that I had never heard of D’Angelo before this. I blame it on having young kids when this rather explicit album came out. Yes, I recognized some songs I had heard before but I did not know they were D’Angelo’s. What a shame, great record. Excellent groves, interesting arrangements, clever word play. Favorite track: “Devil’s Pie”
C, 2002: Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh man, grooves for days. I played along with it and learned a lot about pocket by doing so. Some of those grooves are a little tricky too not gonna lie. The bass drum is doing some special stuff. Great album and love how clearly you can hear the influences in it. All the songs are great, but I’ll go with “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” and also “Send It On”
H, 1951: An intimate, entrancing, expansive, masterful recording. Runs the gamut from traditional, soulful entreaties to a potential lover, to straight dance numbers, to modern, dismissive, boastful let's-have-sex rhythm workouts, to sharp social commentary. A great collection of collaborators. Wonderfully consistent sound layering, with drums and bass on the bottom, smooth soulful vocals on top, with graceful, expressive horns often lurking in the background. By the end of the album you'll feel like you've been hanging out with the bass player and drummer for years. “Devil's Pie” is essential listening: “Watch us all, stand in line / For a slice of the devil's pie / Drugs and thugs, women wine / Three or four, at a time.” But the hauntingly beautiful “Africa” is also essential.
Published 15 Sep 2019