My favorites: I Wanna C U, Birmingham, Benzo, Berlin
Listen if you like: Toro y Moi, UMI, Kendrick Lamar
Angel’s Pulse (2019) is an album produced and performed by Devonté Hynes as Blood Orange. It’s the fifth Blood Orange album and a great addition to his overall discography. The fourteen-track album, delicately titled Angel’s Pulse, features numerous well-known artists including Toro y Moi and Justine Skye. Hynes performs vocals, guitar, bass, and keyboard; he also utilizes synthesizers and samplers to achieve a unique sound in his production.
The album flirts with multiple genres but can’t be tied down by a single one. “I Wanna C U” and “Something To Do” give us ethereal neo-pop vibes, then Hynes switches it up with the gritty, slow melody of “Dark & Handsome.” Yet tracks like “Gold Teeth” are clearly heavily rap influenced, and “Tuesday Feeling (Choose To Stay)” gives an R&B vibe. The utilization of the talents of multiple artists with distinct styles allows the album to feature a unique mix of sound without deviating too far. The album follows no clear narrative and instead captures different emotions between notes of nostalgia. Despite the lack of a story and a variety of sonic influences, the album presents as a cohesive collection.
The album gives us a look into Hynes’ creative, artistic approach to composing his music – and what we get out of that is beautiful. Upon its first release it was given acclaim for the fresh and new sound it brought, but the album has withstood the test of time and continues to be beacon of experimentation and out-of-the-box musicality. Give this album a shot and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.