Lest you think the header is negative, consider the times we live in. “Bleak and messy” should seem apt to anyone who’s following the news with any heart at all, and it’s a powerful piece of art that can channel the Now into its medium — especially if that work, this album, is 14 years in the making. You’ve been hearing the hype; now here’s some more to consider. More importantly, open your ears to D’Angelo’s Black Messiah. And make sure you’re reading along with the lyrics when you do. I unpacked what I could, but I’m still learning as I listen.
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