“Too Lonesome to Cry”
Much like with the Love Songs for Lonely Monsters album last year, there has been a lot of built-up anticipation over Peace Love & Stuff’s debut full-length. Well, the wait is over, and the result is glorious. Lead singer Lavonne McRoberts is amazing live but has one of the more underrated voices in town, and guitarist Dylan Boyle is a mad genius with a slide. They are both so good, it can be easy to overlook just how vital bassist Jacob Doll and drummer Joe Mcguire are to the band’s sound. But the album is so well mixed that it is easy to pick out every instrument and understand how well these four people work together. The album contains all three songs off the previous EP as well as nine additional tracks. “I,I,I” is my favorite, but “Arsenic and Lace” and “Bonnie and Clyde” fight it out to be the album’s best track.
Well, D’Angelo is back. I mean, maybe it is not the kind of thing that we have all been sitting around waiting for, but now that we have it, it feels kind of nice. “Black Messiah” is — bombastic title notwithstanding — a well-developed, beautifully constructed, politically and socially aware album, and it might be the best work of D’Angelo’s career. Lead single “Sugah Daddy” is a jazzy, soulful throwback to albums like “Voodoo” and is also arguably the best, most creative track on the album. But the deeper you go, the more you find yourself impressed with D’Angelo’s abilities as both a vocalist and an arranger. D’Angelo enjoys taking his time with albums and has no qualms about making fans wait (14 years in this case). But when the end result is this good, it is hard to begrudge him the time.