#1. D’Angelo and The Vanguard – ‘Black Messiah’
This was an interesting year. There were a lot of releases and so many solid albums, but nothing that completely stood out as the down right best across all characteristics. So, to be honest with you, when choosing our #1 album for this list (and there was a lot of back and forth) we decided that it was best to just go with the scenario “if you could only hear one R&B album from 2014, which did it have to be?!” And that’s how we got here… Sure the hype was huge, no it’s not incredible, yes it’s pretty damn good though, no we can’t understand every word D says, but yes it is the one album, that if you could only hear one (that would suck), it has to be this.
D’Angelo’s comeback after 14 years… We hope you didn’t expect the second coming… After his reemergence 2 years ago we kind of always knew that his new album would focus more on the musicality and instrumentation than the songs or vocals. Heavily funk and rock inspired Black Messiah is complex with layers and dimensions, but at it’s core it feels like a jam session, and it should be digested as such.
If you are looking for something more aligned with the days of Voodoo may we point you in the direction of the closing song “Another Life.” Otherwise you can just put this album on and let it cruise. – J.W.