Well we’ve heard it before…lots of times it seems. But, the confirmation that so many have been patiently waiting for has finally come. D’Angelo‘s manager Kevin Liles has revealed to Billboard that the mysterious, oft-delayed, yet still hotly-anticipated, third studio album from the soul singer will hit stores this year!
This isn’t the first time we are hearing this though. In 2011 ?uestlove of The Roots said the album was 97% done, and then in early 2013 he said it was 99% done. Most recently, in March of 2013, Liles told Billboard, “We’re trying to finish the album. Right now we have 13 songs done, trying to think about the sequence of the album, mastering and mixing within the next two weeks, and release the thing. Ain’t no question it’s coming.”
During that time D’Angelo had been making his return to the stage, playing various shows and festivals and getting fans and new listeners warmed up for the body of work that has become The Detox of R&B. Now that it has been over a year since Liles last update it certainly would seem they had enough time to get the LP ready.
“Here’s the thing: with D’Angelo it was a process. He didn’t perform for 10 years and he’s been working on an album for the past 12 years. I actually got him to go out and do 30 shows [in 2011-2012], and then we did some ‘Brothers in Arms’ shows. I said, ‘We have to get motivated around what people want to hear from you, and what does it mean to come back to that space?’ He very bluntly put it, ‘Kev, the studio and the stage: that’s my lifeblood. Now that I’ve touched it again, now that I see it again, I wanna be sure that the baby I’m about to have — the album — that I take it to the point where it’s all it can be.’
“There’ll be an album this year: there’s 14 records so far, we might have a couple of bonus records, but all the recording is basically done and we’re mixing and mastering now. Definitely, he’ll be back,” says Liles.
With touring plans being set for the fall, we can assume the album might hit our hands as early as August or September. “We’ll probably start an international tour in October, we’ll come back [to the States]. We’re doing a James Brown tribute in August [at the Hollywood Bowl] and some one-off things. But the touring will probably start in October and 2015,” Liles revealed as well.
Making the statement is one thing, but everyone wants to know more about the album, the sound and direction, so what does the album sound like?
“To limit it to soul is not the case, because there is a rock influence. But at the same time, it’s very melodic and there’s an influence of all the things he loves: there’s James Brown, there’s Prince, and everything people grew up loving D’Angelo for, from ‘Brown Sugar’ to ‘Voodoo,’ he said. “It’s a mixture and an evolution of where he is right now. And you have to think that when you have the opportunity to work 10 years on an album, that album’s truly gonna be what you want it to be. Is it limited to the kind of sound that he did with the earlier records? No, it’s not.”
While he wouldn’t reveal a name for the project, Kevin did confirm again that this is the year the album will be released and it will be “sooner than later.”
Finally!!! Heading to the record store to wait in line now…