D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ Still Goes Strong After A Decade

There's been mild fanfare over the last few days about the 10th anniversary of D'Angelo's masterful album Voodoo, and of course around these parts we haven't forgotten. One of the best albums of the '00s, Voodoo was more like a manifesto for a different soul, a new funk, than just another album in the "neo-soul" marketing strand of its time. D'Angelo, unlike many soul singers that peppered the music of this past decade, didn't treat the genre as a limitation.

After the bounce

In the video below he speaks about the interest he has in what he describes to be the moment when early soul music was making the change to funk, and how it also reflected a larger change in culture. It's like he bottled all the energy of similar interstitial moments--social, musical, personal--and slowly released it throughout Voodoo. He found that anticipatory element in soul, in funk, in R&B and exploited it without attempting to liberate it from itself, or something. He challenged it and us to stay with him on the brink.

dangelo-voodoo-20.jpgWhile it ultimately influenced his retreat from releasing and performing new music, it does make sense that the public-at-large clamored for the unrelentingly sexual music video for "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." His image in that video became a repository for the feverish tension he created on Voodoo that was hard to place otherwise. 

Then he was shirtless. Then he vanished.

The legacy of Voodoo isn't really all of that, though. It's that the album is not a legacy but a gauntlet that has yet to be taken up by anyone, including him. 
Regardless, D'Angelo's alchemy still entrances like it did ten years ago.

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22 Responses

  1. questlove twittered some old / demos of d'angelo. peep those, theres a few i never heard that are dope.

  2. voodoo and mama's gun my 2 favorite cd's ever.

  3. This dude is so over rated it aint funny. Yeah I liked his first joint and the dude does have talent but he aint had a decent joint out since he jumped on that Raphael Saadiq joint - u should be here a few years back. I aint showing no love to any one hit wonders anymore. 10 years between decent music is a long ass time. He aint on par with Maxwell, Dave Hollister or Anthony Hamilton, vocally or talent wise. I cant even remember the last time i took his Cd off my Cd rack....................

  4. This dude is so not overrated! Have you ever listened to Voodoo?

  5. @stoneyisland, D'Angelo is not a one hit wonder. He has countless hits-- Lady, Brown Suga, How Does It Feel, and on and on. Pouring out a CD does not a good artist make. A richer artist, pehaps, but it does not say anything about someone's talent. You can ask the timeless Sade about that one. That legend hasn't dropped a CD in about ten years and people are in anxious anticipation waiting for her CD to drop next month.

  6. @stoneyisland, D'angelo a one hit wonder? you must be a comedian, because thats funny. D'angelo is a wonder, thats what he is......D'angelo not on par with Maxwell, Hollister and Anthony Hamilton???? stoneyisland, Anthony Hamilton was a backup singer for D'angelo!!!!

  7. I think Voodoo has some great songs but alot is just filler and so much of it sounds the same after awhile.

  8. So what he was a backup..........hell Luther Vandross was a backup, so that statement has absolutely no legs to stand on. D'angelo is no legend, the word shouldnt be thrown around lightly. Al Green is a legend, Barry White was a legend, Marvin Gaye was a legend. D'angelo is no legend. All the greats were back up at some point, it's what you do once you stop being a backup that makes you a legend.

  9. No no no, you misinterpreted me, my-bad, I should have stated my comment in a better more clearer way.....I'm not sayin being a backup is a bad thing at all, I love Anthony Hamilton, got all of his albums, been to a number of his point that i was trying to make, is the fact that you said he is not on par with the likes of Ant, Maxwell and Hollister vocally (who all have a distinct and unique sound of their own-so your argument is still kind of baffling to me) . Why would D'angelo have people he is not up to par with on vocally as backups??? especially in his genre?? maybe if he was a pop singer or something that happens all the time in pop, but not his "neo-soul"....thats the point i was trying to make, not that backup singers aren't good.

  10. No harm no foul:)

  11. Voodoo was overrated,some good music, but overall not satisfying sorry

  12. I think the idea of him has become overrated. Then again, I think that a whole group of 90s and early 00s artists have been unduly mythologized as many of us mid-twenty to thirty-somethings begin allowing nostalgia more influence over our listening practices. He’s no legend, that’s true. Voodoo is remarkable whether or not it was any of our favorite albums of all time.

  13. D'Angelo is a great artist but this album is overrated. His first album "Brown Sugar" was better than "Voodoo" by leaps and bounds. "Voodoo" has a few standout tracks but the overall project is just decent and nothing spectacular. I think we tend to put D'Angelo on a pedestal just because he was one the groundbreaking artists of the Neo-Soul Movement. He has become some kind of mythical figure in Soul Music when he is just another regular, everyday artist that has had a couple of great songs.

  14. Voodoo was definitely a pretty good album but not the greatest of all time . D'angelo had so much talent , so much soul. He is definitely up to par with the likes of Maxwell , Anthony Hamilton, Badu etc. Mind you he was still at his beginning stages and had he not let his troubles get the best of him we wouldn't be having this conversation at all. Voodoo the album might be overrated but i think D'angelo as an artist was definitely extremely talented. You probably would have said the same about Maxwell or even Raf saadiq if they too hadn't come back in a decade. so i def. disagree that he was "just another regular everyday artist with a couple great songs"

  15. I like Voodoo, but for me, Brown Sugar is a better album. I agree with baybruh, there seems to be a lot filler, turning a big chunk of the album into one long song.

  16. Everytime I try to really get into this album, I can't. There are a few tracks that I like, but overall it's just OK.

  17. I have tried to like Voodoo so many times, but it never has worked for me. A lot of filler, the only stand out for my ears is Africa. Brown Sugar is certainly my D'Angelo pick. I'm not expecting anything else from him. Hope he can just be healthy and happy.

  18. I cannot believe what I am reading right now. Brown Sugar and Voodoo are both vastly different albums musically, but Voodoo is and was THE TRUTH. Y'all oughta be ashamed. My goodness...

  19. "Brown Sugar" was raw business no doubt, but "Voodoo" was the perfect follow up CD. As Ill Mami said, the two CD's are vastly different. Voodoo took chances where Brown Sugar was safe (outside of the S,D,MF song)...but both were beautiful. D showed his true musicianship on Voodoo and that's why I appreciate it that much more. People usually set themselves up for disappointment when they expect an artist to duplicate their past works. No disappointment here!

  20. I feel like a lot of people set themselves up for failure when they expect an artist to put out "My first album, again"... A true artist should take a step forward with each piece of work they put out. Brown Sugar and Voodoo were two totally different pieces of work. I LOVE Voodoo, its stays in rotation heavily. I think this album was a major modern milestone in the soul/funk movement we have today now. I gasp at the words "D'angelo", "Voodoo" and "overrated" in the same sentence.

  21. Yea sooo D'Angelo hasn't released a cd in forever because he was in jail I guess everyone forgot about that. lol. That is why it has been so long since we have heard from him. He is out now though so hopefully it won't be too much longer before we hear from him.
    Anyway, I think D is great! He spearheaded the "neo-soul" movement before it was cliche. Personally, I like Brown Sugar but after reading all the comments I will give Voodoo another listen. However, If anything D is underrated. He is great artist.

  22. jaye, i'm feelin you:)


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