“Cupid Deluxe” by Blood Orange
Jumping from moniker to moniker and project to project (Test Icicles, Lightspeed Champion) Devonte Hynes, aka Blood Orange, is adept at cross-genre dabbling and keeping up with changing sound trends. His previous works have seen him venture into angst-y dance-punk through to mellower soul and folk sounds. And now comes Cupid Deluxe – Hynes’ sophomore under the umbrella of Blood Orange – which embraces the stripped-back hip-hop meets indie R&B sound made great by bands like The xx, Weeknd, and more recently, London Grammar.
What Blood Orange seems to have done though is to take the genre and push it in every direction it can go to create a remarkably diverse album. From ’80s style Talking Heads-esque funk in “Uncle Ace” to the skittering afro-pop beat in “No Right Thing” that Vampire Weekend would be proud of, this is an album packed with diverse sounds. Hynes nurtures this diversity further by infusing the album throughout with guest vocals. Friends’ singer Samantha Urbani brings a new wave vocal quality to retro synth track “You’re Not Good Enough.” Opening track “Chamakay” melds tribal beats with the soulful input of Chairlift vocalist Caroline Polachek and London rapper Skepta’s gloomy presence on “High Street” showcases the power of collaboration within the record.
The songs on this album are so rich and cleverly crafted that you could write an entire review on every one of them. However, instead of dragging it out for you, we’ll let you go and listen to them for yourself.