D’Angelo and the Vanguard, ‘Black Messiah’


Aidin Vaziri | After making fans wait more than 14 exhausting years for a new album, D’Angelo quietly slipped out “Black Messiah” unannounced at midnight on a recent Sunday. He slipped away from the spotlight long enough for people to forget about that video that prominently featured his six-pack abs — maybe — but not his spectacular, unfettered voice. Like the man who made it, best known for 2000’s neo-soul classic “Voodoo,” this is an album that takes its time to unfurl. D’Angelo’s focus has shifted from the carnal to political, with songs like “The Charade” and “1000 Deaths” touching on current events taking place everywhere from Egypt to Ferguson, Mo. But the music carries on his distinctly retro style, bringing to mind the knotty rock of Jimi Hendrix and lavish funk of Sly and the Family Stone, and reaffirming that he can’t be bound by time.