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March 14, 2009

Spin Cycle : D’Angelo’s Voodoo

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Spin Cycle is a little feature I am introducing where I revisit some favorite albums of mine that need some dusting off. This time around, we’re rediscovering D’Angelo’s Voodoo. I first fell in love with this album as a freshman in high school when it was first released, however I pulled it out of the collection the other day only to really discover the impact it has made on me, and my musical tendencies over the years.

As a pioneer of the “neo-soul” movement, D’Angelo brought classic soul sensibilities to the hip-hop era with his first release Brown Sugar. Five years later he followed Sugar, with the exquisitely refined Voodoo. Voodoo is a fusion of soul, jazz, hip-hop and funk and had a much looser, jam oriented atmosphere than Brown Sugar. A perfect example comes on the second track, Devil’s Pie, which features a killer bass line by Charlie Hunter, who also plays guitar on the album. While much of the album was produced by Questlove at Electric Lady Studios, Voodoo really needs to be heard through headphones to fully do it justice. Towards the end of the album appears the most successful track on the album, Untitled – How Does it Feel, which was released as a single.

While the highly successful Voodoo has only left us wishing for more from D’Angelo, who has remained fairly absent from the music scene since the subsequent tour, rumors of a third studio release have surfaced for early this year. Nevertheless, Voodoo is a finely-crafted sonic journey well equipped to stand the test of time.

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1 comment

1 Grace { 04.09.09 at 3:54 pm }

Oh man! I used to listen to this album all the time! D’Angelo is great…what ever happened to him?

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