Neo-soul godfather D’Angelo did something of a J.D. Salinger, completely abstaining from interviews and live shows as well as from releasing any solo material, after the release of his widely heralded 2000 LP Voodoo. While a follow-up to the record that got him dubbed “R&B Jesus” by several music critics is rumored to have been finished since 2006, the only songs that have found their way to the public’s anxious ears have been rough demos, and whispers of a new D’Angelo album in 2010 fell flat after a series of legal woes befell the musician. A 2011 release seems probable now, but who knows?
Fortunately, D’Angelo has done guest vocal duties on several tracks during his ten-year self-exile, most recently on British producer and guitarist Mark Ronson’s third album, Record Collection. On “Glass Mountain Trust,” Ronson’s admitted favorite track, D’Angelo croons in his singular buttery rasp over eerie synths that sound like space lasers (seriously, this is the only metaphor that comes to mind) and cymbals that crash like water in rapids. The instrumentals are all well and good but, predictably, the track’s most intoxicating element has to be that voice – a mystifying range, sweet and sharp at the same time. “Glass Mountain Trust” may not be D’Angelo’s best effort, but it’s a solid piece of music that shows off his incredible talent: let’s hope it’s enough to hold us over until his long-awaited third record is released.
Mark Ronson & The Business INTL - "Glass Mountain Trust" f/ D'angelo
In other Mark Ronson news, below you can watch Ronson, MNDR and Q-Tip perform Record Collection's irresistible first single "Bang Bang Bang" on David Letterman's show: