Last Week, D’Angelo brought the funk after 14 years and it’s the godsend the album title implies (though, to be fair, Black Messiah offers political rather than religious messages.) Still, the nod to D’Angelo’s church roots is noted (and appreciated.) In the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, the album offers a message that is lucid to its audience.
“For me the title is about all of us. It’s about the world. It’s about an idea that we can all aspire to. We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah. It’s about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in the Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It’s not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them…Black Messiah is not one man. It’s a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader,” said D’Angelo in a statement.
He’s back with a shoulder-popping amalgamation of soul, conjuring some Booker T. here and Sly there, offering the soundtrack to meet a need we’ve suddenly found ourselves awakened to again. Point blank, it’s amazing, even if you don’t think too hard about what he’s managed to do.