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4.5 out of 5 stars38
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 January 2005
In the mid 90's the future looked bright for r n b, a new wave of modern soul artists began to shine, D'Angelo among them, and a strong musical wave looked to be on the horizon.
D'Angelo's debut album, Brown Sugar, starts off on a high, so to speak. The title track is a smooth sexy song with brooding basslines and a catchy chorus. This is by far the best track on the album, and the rest of the songs are given the seemingly impossible task of trying to match it.
However on each track, the combination of funky basslines, elegant piano playing, and D'Angelo's sweet vocals seem to capture the mood just right, and would make even the most banal of men light up the candles and lay out the rose petals. Tracks such as the excellent 'Alright', 'Higher', and 'When We Get By' are delivered with such an effortless confidence it is hard not to draw comparisons with soul legends such as Al Green or even Prince.
In all, a fantastic modern soul album, so smooth it could make your speakers melt, and in a time of Usher and a number of other anonymous acts performing watered down pop rnb, a warming reminder of 'what could have been'.
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on 25 November 2000
D'Angelo is quite frankly one of the very few, true musical genious' from this decade. I mostly listen to rap and r&b music but I have realised that there are a lot of artists out there who are only doing what they do to make money (wouldn't you?). D'Angelo is one of the few TRUE artists out there who strives to perfect his god-given musical talents. Most tracks on the album were composed, written, arranged, produced and performed by D'Angelo himself. He also played a wide range of the instruments heard on the album. If this isn't a talented guy, then I don't think I'll ever know what talent really is. I just love his songs which have a great relaxing feeling to them. The smooth, jazzy, soulful, rhythm and blues type of music found on this album is beautifully crafted together to create an all time classic. Most of the songs are woman-inspired and his soulful crooning about his admirations of the love of his life etc. make for great songs to play softly in the background, in a dimly lit room on that very "special night"... If you know what I mean ;). An absolute must-have album. This isn't your usual contemporary R&B like "Thong Song" etc. This is more of a hark back to some of the musical greats like Marvin Gaye and Al Green etc. D'Angelo has this ability to pack with him, the great stuff about the old-skool music and blend it in with more modern musical tactics to create his own unique sound. The songs are mostly slower love songs and ballads and a couple of jazzy/blues type songs. My favourite cuts are "Me and those Dreamin' Eyes of Mine", "Lady", "Smooth", "Brown Sugar", "Cruisin'" and "When we get by". An essential album for any fan of either modern day contemporary R&B or for those older old-skool heads.
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on 13 July 2004
I bought this album when it first came out and by far it is my favourite neo classic soul album.. for the time I believe D'Angelo took a brave step with this album and by doing so opened the flood gates to a new generation of jazz/soul fusion artists.
The title track brown sugar is definately the strongest track on the album, however D'Angelo's subtle musical beauty and heavy bass licks are prominant throughout the album making it undoubtabley a classic! and with a fan base including Prince and BB King few could disagree with me.
His subtle use of the chorus line of Funkadellic's "one nation under a groove" incorporated in "when we get by" lends itself perfectly to the smooth jazz tune and is barely noticable as a sample. I would say my least favourite track is "sh*t damn motherf*cker" however in todays world of weak watery Rnb this is still a very strong track and serves well on an invincable album I would recomend anyone to buy this album! the follow up Voodoo is equally strong with maybe slightly less origanality than Brown Sugar yet more maturity can't wait to hear album #3
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on 28 March 2009
For me, D'Angelo is one of the best artists from the last couple of decades - and I think this album proves it. It's just so and smooth and soulful and I feel he really does connect emotionally to his songs (i think in this day and age very few artists do). It's an album I never get tired of listening to and keep comnig back to it over the years - too many artists are interested in making music for the masses but I have a feeling this will be a timeless classic.
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on 17 February 2007
One of the first R&B/Soul albums i have bought and it still ticks all the boxes. Whether you want to woo a woman, chill out in the sunny garden, or simply fall asleep to this, i cannot recommend this album enough. One of the rare albums in my collection where i like every song. the album encompasses every aspect of love and relationships in the smoothest coolest possible way. I was disappointed with his 2nd album "Voodoo", and i always resort back to this. Class.
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on 17 January 2000
While we've been waiting (and waiting) for Voodoo to cast its spell, Brown Sugar has remained pure. Bought on the day of release in 1995, this CD is my most played and most loved. The voice, the music, the production all strike the perfect balance between rough and smooth, the old and the new. Maxwell's just too refined, Eric Benet hasn't got the material and Prince has abdicated. D'Angelo is the Saviour of Soul.
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on 16 January 2001
D'Angelo, one of the greatest singing voices of today and with one of the greatest minds for musical output. Although he still, feels as if he can acomplish more, which is brilliant, for we willl get more of his music to chill to... I love the way he still puts out great music artists of the past and says how he wants to make music as good as theirs, stevie wonder, or prince... He is a modest artist with great lyrics when you study them hard... Well done D'Angelo..
D'Angelo is brilliant because he is able to create music form scratch and by himself, with his many talents and genius like brain...
peace out...
Jez
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on 8 April 2008
I can't believe i didn't post a comment years ago. No track skipping,it was kept in my CD player (on repeat) for 2 weeks after purchasing, can listen to it at anytime of day or night. I've never heard someone make the word Mother****er sound so soulful and sexy!D'Angelo=Soul. A highly recommended album, everyone should have in their collection!
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on 16 January 2000
What can I say ?? 'Brown Sugar' is amazing, it is one of the essential r'n'b albums..hell, albums of the 90s. D'Angelo has supreme vocal and lyrical ability, and is one helluva talent man, composing, writing, arranging, producing and performing this CD. All the songs are consistently strong, and you can literally feel his pain, this incredible ache he has when he sings. Songs of note are 'Smooth', 'Higher' and 'Lady', tho all the album was full of potential singles. D'Angelo brings to mind cool music in a smoky bar on the Bayou, just..jammin'. He is the original nu soul artist and a true genius. His nest album 'Voodoo' is set to be one of the most eagerly awaited albums OF ALL TIME (not my words, may I add!) but first you must experience 'Brown Sugar'. Prepare to be blown away.
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on 4 December 1999
Mellow to chill out to alone or in company with that person in your life. Late night listening. Some of the lyrics are quite ironic and harder than the music actually sounds. Similar to Maxwell but personally I feel D'Angelo has much more class. I frequently lend out this CD to friends who I know would like it. Has quite a jazzy professional edge whilst retaining that soulful spirited sound which seeps right through your skin as well in to your ear lobes. Yoeah you know that feeling - Excellant vocalist to. Reminds you of hot summer nights when it's cold outside!
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