The greatest comeback of 2014
It took D’angelo 14 years of silence, between “Voodoo” released 2000 and his latest release “Black Messiah”, rush releases in December 2014, actually it almost passed us by. The album was rush released without any huge PR campaign, no big boards, no social media leaks. It´s just here in yer face, right here – right now – and it´s a helluva great comeback – a classic album from day one!
It´s the first to be credited to D’angelo And The Vanguards. His new band, and what a band!
“Black Messiah” sounds like a continuation of “Voodoo” taken 14 years into the future, without loosing it’s inspiration from the big ones from the past. “Black Messiah” shows the path into the future of nu-neo-soul. This is DEEP SOUL!
As earlier releases by D’angelo the shadow of Prince is found all over the album, but on the “Black Messiah” album we also get a large slice of George Clintons psyched out space funk. Guitars ripped off Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers and Eddie Hazel, even Jimi Hendrix here and there. The funk of Sly Stone, the political soul of Marvin Gaye and the political lyrics and falsetto of Curtis Mayfield. And we’re not forgetting Prince, because this album has also a track, just like “Voodoo”, that is more Prince than Prince has been the last years. «Another Life» is this years «Untitled (How Does It Feel)» both tracks is some of the best tracks Prince has never written, the track you have to double-check the liner notes twice a day!
D’angelos third album is embracing a huge handful of genres but is without doubt a soul album that’s instant funky, dry like the deserts of Sahara and sweat like a long hot summers night at the same time, groovy as hell, smooth like butter, juicy jazzy, latin and sitar flirting rock and gospel bomb; Sometimes all at the same time!
The return of D’angelo
D’Angelo has had some tough years, his much written a about weight problem, his problem with coping with his own success and his almost fatal car crash while on drugs, that almost killed him!
Musically Frank Ocean has almost been there on the fantastsit “Orange”, Beyonce has dipped her toes in the same eksperimental water with her self titled latest album, Miguel almost made it, Prince and his 3rd Eye Girl has tried, and revitalised the sound of Prince! But It’s cool to see how D’angelo collects all the loose threads from the aforementioned to create his third album. With “Black Messiah” does D’andelog dare to show his music colleagues how real soul should be done in 2014. The album and sound of “Black Messiah” will be a blueprint for how soul should sound in the future, without loosing it’s roots in the past!
The albums mighty production sounds 50% improvised and 50% produced. Everything sounds right. It’s a living proof that there is still place for the sound of D’angelo in a world were we questions the future of the album – and physical formats. This is album music, as album music should be released and listened to – at a whole, as a story, as a part of history – from first track – untill the finnished last track!
With their deep soul album «Black Messisah» shows D’angelo And The Vanguards that they live up to the album’s title as a saviour of soul music and that the long wait was worth it!
All of a sudden 14 years didn´t sound so long time ago. What perfect way to end the year!
I know we´re only a month info the new year, but the subject of this post is the truth; Prince is back to show the world why he is more relevant than ever in 2014, And he does it with a coolness and style no one can match!
The shocking coolness of Prince
Seems like we can´t get enough of Prince these days, and he´s wherever we turn; His guest spot on comedy hit comedy show New Girl was amazing, and proves his coolness, his humor and a warm superstar! In the show he showed off his table-tennis skills, his humanity – and gave a taster of a forthcoming track. He even let Zooey Dechanel aka Jess of New Girl sing with him on the live show he held in his own home in the comedy show. Prince perform this son in his highly recognizable speeded-up Camille voice!
Last but not least he has grown back his coolest afro since the late 70s / early 80s, and is this sporting black leather clad rock style that fits his new image.
The re-rise of Prince
Prince seems to have found his zen, and seems happier and more confident with himself than he has done in many years. He´s still his amazing self, the rare and most unique artist of the world alive. Prince is a living legend and an icon that is more relevant than ever. Gone is his fight with record companies, he has found the back to the funk again, and dare to take more chances than he has ever done before. He is productive, and his agenda and to-do-list seems to be filled up for years to come! His latest concerts gets top star reviews all over the press.
To steal a quote used about soul and funk legend James Brown; Prince is the hardest working man in showbiz today!
How would YOU react if Prince stood before you?
Prince is back, also online
2014 (and 2013) is the year Prince made a massive U-turn and returned to using social media and the internet again. First through his 3dreyegirl twitter profile, at first by teasing snippets of his new all girl band 3dreyegirl. He has again opened the official Prince website again, http://3rdeyegirl.com. Did you know: Prince was one of the first to sell his music solely through the internet, through his NPG Music store, and during his hiatus with Warner, he recorded and sold several albums only through his own webpage. These days he has opened for it again and has released several new songs on his new webpage. You´ll also find video clips that can be bought video clips and live-streams through his page. You´ll even find his new songs on iTunes! Do a search for Prince and check it out!
Heres a small choice of artist highly inspired by Prince.
You can hear most of them in this Princespiration Spotify playlist.
-The-Dream look at the titles of his “LoveHate” album and the production, –
-Trey Songs “Yo Side of The Bed” sampling Prince
-Maya Vik, her debut Château Faux-Coupe” album is full of Prince-flirting songs
-Romanthony (from Daft Punk “One More Time”) recorded a solo album “R.Hide in Plain Site” that is a pure unashamed tribute to Prince – just look at the song titles and listen to the sound and voice of the late Romanthony —Beyonce & Jay-Z “97 Bonnie & Clyde” included resung parts of “If I Was Your Girlfriend”,
-D’angelo “Untitled” makes you doublecheck the sleevenotes…twice! —
-Pleasure, norwegian musician/producer (Fred Ball) “Pleasure 2”, is full of Prince sound-a-like songs, pure rip-offs
-Daley – the falcetto and nasal funky voice
-Paulo Nutini the last part of “Million Faces” could have been his Purpleness
-Justin Timberlake on the tracks “Until The End Of Time” and “(Another Song) All over again”
-Justin Bieber loves the color purple
-Frank Ocean his voice, production his artistic life. “Crack Rock” samples the same Jimi Hendrix sample as Prince uses on “Tick, Tick Bang”
-Lady Gaga her androgynous image
-R.Kelly the explicit songs
-Britney Spears “Lace & Leather” is quite like “Kiss” and “I´m A Slave For You” is a rip-off of Vanity 6 “Nasty Girl”
-Ryan Adams “Touch, Feel Loose” and “Hotel Chelsea Nights” (same song different lyrics) is a pure rip-off of “Purple Rain”
-Thee Madkatt Courtship is a massive Princefan – and his “Alone In The Dark” was compared to the “Purple Rain” album in its song structure
-Felix Da Housecat off Thee Madkatt Courtshop has the most fun track on here, and its pure tribute to Prince, in the song “We All Wanna Be Prince”
So even if you don’t know it and recognize it – the influence of Prince is everywhere and has never gone away!
His name is Prince:
Prince is one of the most talented musicians we have today past and present; He is one of the greatest guitarist ever, and he plays every instrument on his records (mostly), produces, sings, writes songs in every genre there is; Funk, pop, rock, jazz, soul, hard-rock, classical.
Prince has never disappeared and has never lost it, even is some media thinks he is no longer relevant or interesting as an artist and musician. Ok, so there is some records that hasn´t sold as much as his 80s years, – and there has off course been some weak albums, but you can play any of his records from his career, and always find some songs that still stands out – that is still relevant and fresh-sounding.
Actually, I give you a request:
Send me as a comment on this blog post the title of any Prince album, and I’ll give you a list of the best songs off that album!
The Mojo Magazines summit of Prince
Mojo Magazine has summed up 20 things that prove the majesty of Prince – and why he is more relevant than ever!