Thursday, May 15, 2008
No. 488: Voodoo
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: I don't know enough about the Soulquarians to write about the whole of this album, but D'Angelo's thing is that he's a modern, slower Prince. "Unitled (How Does it Feel?)" is the grand example of this.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I actually think this should be higher.
Best song: "Playa Playa" and "Unitled (How Does it Feel?)" are wonderful.
Worst song: "Spanish Joint" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: Sure.
Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson executive produced "Voodoo." This is a fact easily found not only by reading the album's liner notes or looking it up on our good friend Wikipedia, but also by listening to the record.
Thompson's hand is all over the album, with his downtempo drumming style absent from R&B and hip hop, save for the things he touches. The album's opening track
?uestlove was able to utilize what he called "human imperfections" in his drumming, turning off some (Lenny Kravitz was originally slated to appear on the album, but chose not to because he couldn't sing with the beats), but making for a cooler sound. the record is slightly Roots-esque, with "Playa Playa" sounding the most like a
Of course, D'Angelo's voice is the draw to the record. Sounding partially like a Prince cover singer, he lilts and moves through notes like a male Mariah Carey. "Chicken Grease" is a silly little song that features his entire range while "The Root" is soulful and great.
The guests are similarly good on the record. "Left & Right" is an odd sex song, considering the guests on the song are, um, Method Man and Redman. No offense to anyone who's had sex with either gentleman, but neither are exactly sexy.
Plus, of course, there is this:
A fine, fine record.