Black Messiah wasn’t supposed to drop in 2014. It turns out D’Angelo rushed the release date in response to the nationwide protests and rioting sparked by a grand jury’s failure to indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting dead Michael Brown in Ferguson earlier this year – which lends Black Messiah, an album that is really a decade and a half overdue, the feeling of in fact being right on cue.
Given how immaculate this album is, it would be nice to hear from D’Angelo more often. But then again, in an age and an industry that demands a consistent, uninterrupted outflow of product, there’s something decidedly refreshing about his jangled hiatus, self-imposed exile, or whatever it is you want to call it. Black Messiahis an album totally devoid of gimmicks and there was no orchestrated hype in the build up to its unexpected release – no videos, no singles, and minimal publicity. This thing generated its own buzz. Black Messiah is quite clearly the result of years of patient and meticulous refinement, when D’Angelo had seemingly all but disappeared from music. D’Angelo dealt with his demons outside of the limelight, at his own pace and on his own terms, and you can feel them being exorcised and cast out all overBlack Messiah. Yes, fourteen years is a long time to wait between records. But, when the end product is this good, it might just be worth the wait.
Not Bad For a Record !