Written By: Aaron Snyder
Honestly, I haven’t heard any of Blood Orange’s music before it came across my desk, and it struck my fancy. After some quick googling, dug in and found out that Devonte Hynes had split from his previous band the Test Icicles and has worked with a huge number of famous musicians like Solange and Kanye. Intrigued, I jumped on to my favorite music streaming app and loaded up the album “Freetown Sound” and was totally blown away.
The album starts out with the song “By Ourselves” a beautiful mash of haunting slow-tempo song with some slam poetry that ends with a call “I would tell you/There are millions of black girls/Waiting/For someone who looks like them.” That song sets a strong tone for the whole album. It’s reminiscent of a cleaner, smoother version of FKA Twigs, and the jazz trumpet in the background adds such a strength to the songs. The whole album has a great, almost Jazzy feel to it, as if the trumpet is connecting all the songs together as you sit in a lounge listening to the music, interspersed with conversations happening around you. The end of the album veers into something very reminiscent of early 90’s club music but slowed down and stripped back. Something I’d imagine Madonna listening to and trying to copy in her music.
The sound throws you back to the early 90’s and the kind of music you’d expect to listen to while doing coke and dancing all night. “E.V.P” has a uniquely different tone that is reminiscent of a variety of late 80’s love making music. That is a jam I could listen to all night. The album stretches across a huge number of different styles, which somehow all stick together cohesively. The spoken word or interviews over a beat would be something I could listen to for years. “Better than me” is the perfect, “We’re not getting back together are we?” music. It’s erratic but intertwined beat keeps you feeling the anxiety of crush that isn’t working out, or that feeling when you see your ex with someone new and they aren’t coming back to you.
This album is definitely worth the listen. Sit down, clear your calendar, and just let it wash over you. Listen to it all the way though, and have a killer hour or so of just listening. I’ll definitely be coming back to this album for a long time.