Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Album Review: Bilal - Airtight's Revenge
Its an amazing thing to watch an artist grow before your very eyes. The truly talented ones get better as they go and that can definitely be said for neo-soul crooner Bilal. Since his debut album "1st Born Second" in 2001, Bilal has been somewhat of a staple in the music industry when it comes to album features and background vocals. Singing for the likes of Jay-Z, Common, Kanye West, and one of my hometown favorites Solange, Bilal's sophomore album has been eagerly anticipated by fans and artist alike. Nearly ten years removed from his debut album Bilal gives us "Airtight's Revenge" an incredible piece of artistry.
Bilal choose to go the indie route this time around and for an artist like him its the best way to go. This allowed the Philadelphia native to experiment in ways most artist can't. Producing nearly all 11 tracks on the album, Bilal was able to maintain the artistic integrity that made him the artist we fell in love with years ago. That in itself gave listeners exactly what they wanted from this album, Bilal's own thoughts, ideas, and concepts.
Love, relationships, politics, religion, and family are just a few of the places Bilal's mind takes us on his new album. "Airtight's Revenge" is a soulful record with traces of funk, jazz, and rock all mingled together to create the perfect blend. The album starts off with "Cake & Eat It Too" which is a retro funk tune that readies your ear for the album. "All Matter" is an uptempo track where Bilal shows the full range of his vocal arsenal while trying to explain what exactly love is. Another standout track and likely an emotional one for Bilal is "Little One" a song dedicated to his two sons that suffer from Sickle Cell and Autism. My current favorite is "Levels" a jazzy rhythmic tale that's dark and passionate. The album seems extremely personal for Bilal which makes it all the more intriguing. Every song takes my mind to a different place and when music does that its something special.
This record is like no other R&B album I have heard in the past. Needless to say Bilal wasn't afraid to let his creative spirit take the wheel and drive this album down a different path. Hopefully he won't make us wait another ten years for a follow-up.