D'Angelo - Brown Sugar      
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written by Brainiac    
1995, A year that many hip-hop fans consider to be the golden age of hip-hop. If you’re a fan of r&b, 1995 was the year that marked the release of one of the best, if not the best debut r&b albums released in the 90’s. The album that I speak of is D's "Voodoo". This CD is a complete package that combines old school rhythms, heavy baselines, and a funky hip hop backdrop that inspired male artists of today such as Bilal, Musiq, and Donnie.

The title track is a brilliant metaphorical concept track that on the surface appears to be an ode to the brown skin lady. However, with lyrics such as "that’s why my eyes are a shade of blood burgundy", and "I get high off your love, don’t know how to behave" among many others proves that this song in all actuality is an ode to the Mary J. While I cant say that I can personally relate to the track, I can definitely appreciate the great personification. With that song being the opening track, one would think that the rest of the CD has high standards to live up to. Does the remainder of the CD do so? Most definitely! The very next track is "Alright". The track basically says that despite all that a relationship comes along with, everything will be alright. The song is raw. It has the dirty drums playing in the background, and the random keys, accompanied by D’s soulful vocals. Definitely, a song that will receive many repeats.

D’ may be the son of a preacher man, but his aggression is definitely not maintained on some tracks. The track "Shi*, Da*n, Motherfu**er" is the story of a husband walking in on his wife cheating on him with his best friend. The title in a nutshell describes his reaction. I never really appreciated this track until I saw it performed live (rock version). The raw energy and intensity that he brings to this song when performed live is mind blowing. This man literally destroyed ?uestlove’s drumset on stage, along with the microphone, followed by him doing a full front flip stage drive. Now, if this song is fictional, as I am guessing it is, then for him to be able to deliver such conviction is incredible. The album track is smooth, laid back, and relaxed. But the words to the song add a much-needed furious overtone that does well to balance out the track.

In my opinion, the standout track on the album is without a doubt "Cruisin". Simply put, the song is phenomenal. Believe me, I don’t say that about many remixes. Listening to the song just makes me feel like I am in another place. The keyboard notes are played perfectly. D’s vocals are high pitched and filled with emotion, and it blends to the point that it sounds as if it is just another instrument in this great song. This is the type of track that you play for your lady when driving in the whip, or even when you are just chilling around the house doing your daily activities. This song is simply flawless. I can’t say enough great things about it. A close runner up to being the best song on the album is "Lady", and I mean CLOSE. This song has the handclaps, and I have always been a strong believer that the handclap adds such an organic/soulful vibe to nearly any song. (Minus Busta Rhymes "Make It Clap". With a hook as simple as "You’re My Lady", it makes you really appreciate the meaning of the word simplicity, and the phase ‘less is more’

Honestly, if I was to sit here and make mention of all the noteworthy songs on the CD, then I would have to do a track by track review. This CD is just that good. It not only defines a period in music, but it all defines a moment in life. This is the type of CD that you can play twenty years from now, and look back and think in your mind, ‘I was at this point in my life when I first heard this CD. It is most definitely a classic.









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