It would be a bit untrue to say that I missed Black Messiah. The night before it dropped, the Internet was buzzing with the return of D'Angelo after a fifteen year absence. I listened to the album when it dropped, but due to poor timing I didn't give it thorough, repetitive listens. But within the last month I have, and I absolutely love this album.
What is most noticeable about the album is the production. It is entirely live instrumentation, with practically no synthetic elements that I can detect. While if done poorly, this method can sound repetitive, but due to the layered, build-up approach that D'Angelo and The Vanguard take on this LP, it is anything but. Each track sounds lush and different, from slow and laid-back, to explosive and full of energy, and all very funky. The album sounds like a nostalgic throw-back to something I've never heard before. D'Angelo's nasally, unique voice doesn't overpower the production, but instead acts as a compliment to it. My favorite tracks are "Betray My Heart" and "Really Love" both of which are love songs which build up to gorgeous crescendos. Black Messiah is both sentimental and rare, over-flowing with beautiful production and insightful lyrics. Don't do what I did, and listen to this incredible album as soon as possible.