D'Angelo (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
It's been a while since we've heard anything new from neo-soul star, D'Angelo. When his second album Voodoo debuted at Number 1 in 2000 to many accolades (and lots of attention from the ladies), the singer had a promising career with two Grammy Awards, two Billboard "Hot 100" singles and a number one album But that promise was never fulfilled as he disappeared into obscurity with the occasional report of drunk driving, drug possession and resisting arrest.
However, he may be on track for a comeback. On January 2nd, a new D'Angelo track was leaked on YouTube and is rumoured to be part of his long-awaited return to the music world. The new track samples Soundgarden's 1994 hit, "Black Hole Sun" and at first listen is almost unrecognizable, but as the familiar chorus approaches, it becomes clear, and the sexy singer adds his signature flavour to the classic rock jam.
D'Angelo has teased us over the years with news of his grand return and greatly anticipated new album. In 2006, rumours flooded forums associating him with hit-maker producer Jermaine Dupri for his comeback. Another song leak of "Really Love" popped up in 2007 and his new album was once again "confirmed" in 2009. In 2010, he told The Urban Daily that he wanted his fans to know that "I'm coming. That's all. I'm in the kitchen and I'm cooking up something real nice." Again in January 2011, engineer/producer Russell Elevado released a statement on his website saying, "Pino Palladino and James Gadson have joined D'Angelo and my self in New York City to finish cutting tracks for the upcoming album (yes, "THE" upcoming album!). We are officially making our way to finishing this record!" Since that update, 2011 came and went with no new album.
The leak of the "Black Hole Sun" cover stirred up feelings of hope, but were quickly dashed when Questlove, drummer of soul band The Roots and friend of D'Angelo, tweeted: "@Spencer_Murphy my statement on Black Hole Sun: its a demo from like 8 [y]rs ago done in his crib in Va. Its [sic] NOT on the album (I did NOT leak)."
This feels like another Chinese Democracy situation. Guns N' Roses took 11 years to release their much anticipated follow-up album, which resulted in unrealistic expectations and this final review, "Chinese Democracy is not the greatest rock album ever made" by Spin Magazine.
There are surely many D'Angelo fans who want the crooner to make his way back into the spotlight and freshen the face of R&B. It would be a great comeback story if a new album would debut at number one, prove all the critics wrong and finish what he started after the monster success of Voodoo. Unfortunately, this may not happen in the near future.
D'Angelo is scheduled to perform in Europe at the end of this month and if all goes well, maybe this will be the start of his journey back to the forefront, for real this time.
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