You have to take the time to listen to the fourth album by Blood Orange, aka Devonté Hynes. You have to let the magic happen, because although the album is legitimate, it isn’t innovative. Depression and queer identity are ubiquitous in today’s music. But contrary to artistic opinion, Dev Hynes doesn’t particularly try to persuade through the acuity of his lyrics as much as he stirs emotion through the beauty of his music.

The artistic product is never finished: “The one who starts a piece isn’t the one who finishes it.” That’s how it has been with his many collaborations, with Puff Daddy, Georgia Anne Muldrow, A$AP Rocky, and Steve Lacy. Proclaiming the multiple meanings of his lyrics, the British artist pays obsessive attention to instrumentation. With his extensive production experience, he draws from eclectic references: hip hop, gospel, and New Age merge on tracks that are preferably slow and soaring. It would be a shame to miss the silky Negro Swan, a modern adaptation of the opera whose aesthetic rivals Tchaikovsky’s orchestration.


Blood Orange, Negro Swan (Domino)

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