The biggest news in the music world last week was the supposed confirmation of a European mini-tour by legendary R&B artist D’Angelo, as well as the upcoming release of a comeback album. I say supposed confirmation because with D’Angelo we just never know. As for the concert tour, the man has neither serenaded nor grooved out on stage in over a decade. It’s quite a sad story actually. Following the massive success of the Voodoo tour, and the sexual objectification he perhaps brought upon himself with the infamous “Untitled” music video, D’Angelo suffered a psychological breakdown, left the public eye and music business entirely, all while turning to drugs and alcohol. But although D’Angelo has not addressed any PA systems recently, he has picked up a microphone.
Since the mid 2000s, he resurfaced as a guest artist on R&B and hip-hop hits like Raphael Saadiq’s “Be Here,” Dr. Dre’s “Imagine,” Q-Tip’s “Believe,” and Common’s “So Far to Go,” but has yet to release solo work. An album unofficially entitled “James River” was slated for release in 2009 but has been suspended several times since then. According to Questlove, drummer for The Roots and a longtime collaborator of D’Angelo’s, claims a new album is “97% done.” Let’s pray he’s telling the truth! R&B titan Maxwell returned after a similar hiatus to drop BLACKsummers’night, an incredible success that went platinum and garnered him two Grammy’s. Most importantly, it represented a revitalization of the entire R&B genre, which had been (and to a degree still is) in dire straits. An offering from D’Angelo would have the same positive impact, but until its release I’ll continue to be skeptical. I hope I’m wrong.
Concert Dates for D’Angelo EuroTour:
Thurs 26th Jan – Filadelphia Church, Stockhom
Fri 27th Jan – VEGA, Copenhagen
Sun 29th Jan – Le Zenith, Paris
Mon 30th Jan – Paradiso, Amsterdam
Tues 31st Jan – Paradiso, Amsterdam
Fri 3rd Feb – O2 Brixton Academy, London