Virgin Records
Ranking 9/10

The five year wait for D'Angelo's sophomore album has finally ended with the release of 'Voodoo'. 1995 was the year that D'Angelo's album 'Brown Sugar' caught the R&B/Soul world by surprise. Now in the year 2000, 'Voodoo' is by definition "black magic", and this album follows that title to a T.

At first glance, D'Angelo might look like a hardcore rapper. But buried beneath this tough exterior is a man whose soulful ballads and hush lullabies would make even the harshest woman melt in his hands. D'Angelo definitely works his magic on this album, interweaving sensual verses with horns, trumpets, guitar and percussion. D'Angelo does almost everything on this album. Although featured artists do include producer DJ Premier, rappers Redman, Method Man and Q-Tip, along with Raphael Saadiq helping to produce and play guitar. D'Angelo is a renaissance lyricist and instrumentalist. He is helping refurbish a road once paved by artists such as Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Barry White. D'Angelo's style isn't new, it's old, but it's so fresh and refined that the soul in 'Voodoo' is hard to find nowadays.

The second single "Untitled (How Does It Feel)", has captured the hearts of R&B lovers all over the world. This 7+ minute song, whose video simply consists of a very exposed D'Angelo singing out his heart. The ladies certainly love it. Raphael Saadiq plays a big part in this song, co-producing it, and providing guitar and bass. The first single "Left & Right" features rappers Method Man, Redman and Q-Tip. It provides a catchy guitar riff, over a simple, but ever-changing beat. "Devil's Pie" is produced by DJ Premier and is definitely the most upbeat track on the album. D'Angelo shines on this track flowing with the beat like water from a spring thaw.

D'Angelo's sophomore album will definitely find success. D'Angelo's style is so smooth. He brings soul and R&B to an all new level, a level that he currently shares only with the artist Maxwell. If you enjoy smooth sensual R&B, then you'll definitely enjoy this album. If you were an Al Green fan in his hay day, and you're looking to try something new, then this album is a must.


(Originally posted on HipHopCanada.com)

This review was written March 12, 2000