On Monday, D’Angelo released his album Black Messiah at midnight. Black folks round the Internet went ham. I personally have never been a huge D’Angelo fan, he was a bit before my musical wokeness, so I wasn’t pressed to listen to it immediately.
His last album Voodoo was released 14 years ago when I was ten—way before I fully understood what good music and talent was. Granted, I wasn’t completely clueless. I knew that Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye were untouchable, but I just didn’t fully get why. Anyways, other than the “Untitled” video and the song “Brown Sugar” I wasn’t hip to what made D’Angelo a snowflake in music. I thought he sang well and was beautiful but I hadn’t experienced for myself why people would wait 14 years with bated breath for a new album from this man. That is until I listened to Black Messiah.
Never one to miss out on any Black culture hype, I saved the album on Spotify yesterday afternoon and figured I’d give it a listen sometime later on in the day. Some where in the middle of running errands I decided to give the record a spin in the car. Within seconds of “Ain’t That Easy” I knew this album was about to serve me all types of musical realness. Realness I would find out later on in the evening that I wasn’t even a bit ready for.
Once I hit “Charades” as I walked into my apartment, I felt the urging that I needed to tell some folks about this album (as if no one else heard it already) because I was already in love. My common sense told me to simmer down and listen to more than three songs before you profess your undying love to this album. “Take this slow, sis, take this slow,” I told myself but by the time “Really Love” hit my laptop (a mere two songs later), I knew there was no turning back, it was safe to go on head and start shouting about this album from the rooftops.
Since I was so engulfed in listening to this album I knew it would be impossible for me to write a full review then and there so I came up with an alternative. I would tweet my feels and compile them here because that was the only way I could genuinely express how this record made me feel in real time.
Though I got stuck on “Another Life” during the second run-through I came back around and listened to the album several more times, only to play “Another Life” on repeat for 20 minutes. That song, y’all. I just have none of the appropriate words for that song and its instruments and his voice over those instruments and his harmonies and all of that foolishness. It’s rude and disrespectful and I’m going to eventually write him a letter to ask him to return my edges to me post haste.
This album is full of feeling. Not just listening to D’Angelo’s feelings about various subjects but legitimately feeling the music as it comes from your speakers. Letting it wrap you up and take you down the yellow brick road to soulful glory. Black Messiah don’t owe me nothing. NOT A THING.
I’m glad D’Angelo decided to go on head and bless the world with his musical gifts once more. This album revealed to me everything about D’Angelo I needed to know: his voice still sounds great, he has a passion for music and his presence in the game was sorely missed. With this album he served us all kinds of Prince the Funk God realness with his own unique caress of vocal beauty and almost offensively superb instrumentation.
Black Messiah will be in heavy rotation for a while my friends. Check out my storify below to see all the magic and wonder that was my listening experience and let us know what you think about the album. Excuse any typos in the tweets as I was in such a flurry to share my love. Buy Black Messiah today on your favorite music platform and give your ears what they never knew they needed.