D’Angelo - The Best So Far…

Retrospective of “the R&B Jesus”

Soul music has thrown up few
trailblazers in recent years, yet
with two albums D’Angelo
helped redefine what could be
achieved within the genre.
Recent years have been blighted
with addictions and personal
trauma but, with a third LP
planned, EMI release this
collection of hits and rarities.

The best songs are culled
from the albums: 1995’s debut
Brown Sugar kick-started neo-soul,
its smooth mix of R&B and
rap opening the door for the
likes of Erykah Badu. From that
album the title track and
Smooth are highlights; the
former built around some
sterling Hammond work, while
the latter features crisp hip-hop
beats, the deepest of double
bass lines and sultry vocals.

Recorded live and far more
stripped-down, 2000’s Voodoo
was a tour de force; a raw,
glorious melting pot of styles.
The utterly wonderful Untitled
(How Does It Feel) features, its
mix of pulsating vocals and
guitar licks a masterpiece
proving how effective guitars can
be in soul. Of the rarities, a duet
with Erykah on Your Prescious
Love are among the better
things on offer.

Though not as good as a
new album, this isn’t a bad stop
gap and a good introduction to
why D’Angelo is often compared
with the greats.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

EMI | 213 7162 (CD+DVD)

Reviewed by Paul Bowler
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