Some of you will know him after following from his debut career after following in 2001, on the Neo Soul scene when he released ‘1st Born Second’ during the Soulquarians era. While others discovered him recently after listening to Kendrick Lamar’s new album on, as he featured on the track ‘These Walls’. But has since came back with a very imaginative and well put together album which had us intrigued from the very first track to the last.
The recent project has elements of experience and pass successors as it has been produced by Adrian Younge, a famous arranger / producer who composed Ghostface Killah’s « 12 Reasons To Die I & II », collaborated with Souls Of Mischief, DJ Premier and the list is long. With « In Another Life », we are directly submerged in a 1960-1970 dusty-psychedelic-soul atmosphere. The balance with the instrumentals, the harmony and Bilal’s voice give an euphorious brilliance which with a vintage soul… made in 2015. Still loyal to his speech that seduce women, he offers us hot tracks like « Holding It Back » or « Pleasure Toy (feat. Big K.R.I.T) » which is a sample of « Sexual Healing »’s beat by Marvin Gaye. Yes, there is Motown sonorities in the album ! Another song of the Prince of Soul has been sample in this album and it’s very subtle. « All I Need To Get By » becomes « Satellite », a timeless track… « Just another day / In another life / On the satellite / Watching the world / Watch people as they / Do what they do to people ». Also, there’s « Sirens II », you can recognize the melody of « Picasso Baby » by Jay Z and Timbaland… which was already a sample of « Sirens » by Adrian Younge ! We notice the presence of Kendrick Lamar on « Money Above Love » who mouths a very sumptuous verse, to not drop his good habits adopted. Oh, and there is « Lunatic », a very rock-energetic track.
After all, this album needs to be explored from A to Z. Bilal surrounds himself with artists from different horizons and faces difficulties he meets as racism, materialism and even lunatics! On another hand, this album is full of love, tolerance and freedom.
UGF assisted at Bilal’s concert which took place at Under The Brigde in London, in a cosy universal, welcoming soul music lovers form all across London. A little subterranean room which was also complimented with sounds and lights, perfectly adapted to the singer and his musicians. On stage, Bilal is in his element, with his rock-star-hippy allure à la Hendrix, who also provides some hilarious jokes towards the audience and enjoys himself flipping on the ground. The complicity with his musicians was as recreational, they understand themselves, fully complete themselves and therefore make for an impressive show!
UGF wants to give a special thanks to Alan Tenenbaum x Under The Bridge.
Editorial Board : Odionne & Ezekiel