Revisiting D'Angelo's 1995 "Brown Sugar" and 2000 "Voodoo."
Dubbed "R&B Jesus" by music critic Richard Christgau, D'Angelo is widely considered one of the most gifted musicians of his generation. A virtuosic multi-instrumentalist with a sensuous voice and keen songwriting instincts, he single-handedly initiated the neo-soul movement when he released Brown Sugar in 1995, at age 21. Around the time he released Voodoo in 2000, he called contemporary R&B a "joke." "It's sad—they've turned black music into a club thing," he said.
This article revisits five songs from each of D'Angelo's first two albums. It is a primer for those unfamiliar with his music and an excuse to listen again for the umpteenth time for those who are. Because once you go D'Angelo, you never go back.