For eleven years, the world has waited on tenterhooks for a follow-up to the incredible Voodoo, the 2000 album from D’Angelo . In a timeline marred with court cases and long periods of absence, many lost faith that the R&B and soul singer would ever return with new material, and many forgot about the near-mythical album allegedly entitled James River.
Excitement was sparked at the beginning of this year, however, when Russell Elevado , New York producer, posted this to his personal website:
“Pino Palladino and James Gadson have joined D’Angelo and I in New York City to finish cutting tracks for the upcoming album (yes, “THE” upcoming album!). We are officially making our way to finishing this record!”
D’Angelo may be a fiercely private man himself, but clues have been rapidly leaking via the online presence of his collaborators ever since Elevado’s revelation. Legendary drummer Questlove’s Twitter feed filled up in the early hours of 13th July 2011 with hints that he was working on the album with the man himself.
Starting with the barely-disguised, hint-heavy tweet, “most people use midnight as a time to sleep. others are working on their 11 year followup. this of course being hour number one. #sqrntweet”, Questlove went on to post “Man. I’m Changed. Almost 3am. Music can Heal You. #sqrntweets” and “just made a classic at 4:28am. swear to god. #sqrntweet” in the following hours.
Just yesterday (Monday 25th July), the list of reasons to believe in this comeback continued to grow as rapper Q Tip tweeted “Just finished with d’angelo. WOW!” and later, “Let me say… He is on his A game with the music! #dangelo”
It’s been eleven years, filled with a long list of rumoured collaborations ranging from Mark Ronson to Cee Lo Green, and a long list of disappointments as time passed with nothing to show for the hype. Finally, though, thanks to the insight of social media and some subtly-placed hints, it seems that a release date for this legendary follow-up album might be on the cards. Although with rumours about the exact time ranging from this year to next, we wouldn’t suggest you hold your breath just yet.