Re-Listen: D’Angelo – Brown Sugar

2012 was the year of R&B. With The XX inspiring artists like Jamie Woon and James Blake R&B was revitalised. Active Child, How To Dress Well and Autre Ne Veut all had great releases along with Frank Ocean and The Weeknd at the other end of the spectrum.

The time is ripe for a comeback by an R&B god, that of D’Angelo. In May 2012 he gave his first interview in 12 years to GQ and this year Questlove who has been working with D’Angelo announced that the new album, under the working name of James River, is 99% complete.

Dust the covers, let’s re-listen to one of the best R&B albums ever made – Brown Sugar.

This album is pure sex. It is so smooth and effortless, drawing upon early gospel and soul and infusing that with contemporary R&B and hip hop. Many people will disagree with me but I prefer this album to his more critically acclaimed follow up Voodoo. For me it feels like a more complete piece, an album made with pure passion. The lyrics are mostly about love and romance but feel so honest that they don’t get cheesy.

My favourite song has got to be Cruisin’, for me the perfect R&B/Soul song. I think the lyrics speak for themselves:

Music was made for love

Cruisin’ is made for love

I love it when we’re cruisin’ together

D’Angelo’s new album should hopefully appear soon and if you haven’t checked out his earlier material I urge you to before his new release. If you’re looking for new seduction music you can’t go wrong here.


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