RELEASE
July 03, 1995
LABEL
Virgin

Album Review

By the mid-'90s, most urban R&B had become rather predictable, working on similar combinations of soul and hip-hop, or relying on vocal theatrics on slow, seductive numbers. With his debut album, Brown Sugar, the 21-year-old D'Angelo crashed down some of those barriers. D'Angelo concentrates on classic versions of soul and R&B, but unlike most of his contemporaries, he doesn't cut and paste older songs with hip-hop beats; instead, he attacks the forms with a hip-hop attitude, breathing new life into traditional forms. Not all of his music works -- there are several songs that sound incomplete, relying more on sound than structure. But when he does have a good song -- like the hit "Brown Sugar," Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'," or the bluesy "Shit, Damn, Motherfucker," among several others -- D'Angelo's wild talents are evident. Brown Sugar might not be consistently brilliant, but it is one of the most exciting debuts of 1995, giving a good sense of how deep D'Angelo's talents run.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Brown Sugar
  2. Alright
  3. Jonz in My Bonz
  4. Me and Those Dreamin' Eyes of Mine
  5. Shit, Damn, Motherfucker
  6. Smooth
  7. Cruisin'
  8. When We Get By
  9. Lady
  10. Higher