The mixtape has become the modern day successor to the B side albums of the past. An interesting interstitial that artists can release in between “proper” albums. While some artists have built their entire careers on this format, for the most part the modern day mixtape is more of a curiosity. A peek behind the scenes at the process that your favourite artist uses to get to the more meatier material of their actual albums. Today, Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange drops his brand new mixtape Angel’s Pulse and it’s the type of collection that most artists would hope to release as a bona fide album.
Hynes has describe the record as an addendum to his very strong Negro Swan which was released just short of a year ago. He says he often makes these collections of songs for himself or to give away on cassette to friends or random people on the street but has decided to release Angel Pulse properly. While the collection holds some of the same trademarks of the modern mixtape, short songs, uninterrupted running time, the record seems more fully realized compared to some of its contemporaries.
The record kicks off with “I Wanna C U” a track that owes a little more of it’s influence to Prince then just the way the song title is written. Bouncing and bounding through it’s short length, the song really grabs you and sets the tone for the 30 minute journey that follows. Throughout the album’s running time Hynes treats us to his brand of left field R&B on “Dark & Handsome”, Dancehall on “Baby Florence” and hip hop with “Gold Teeth”, it all remains consistent and very much the work of a singular talent. Album highlight “Benzo” captures what Hynes does when he is at his most dynamic and in any context would be considered a big album single. When he sings, “Open the door and leave me with arms exposed,” you actually feel that Hynes is putting himself out there and when the saxophone kicks in at the tail end of the track, you’ll find yourself hooked.
Angel’s Pulse is the type of album that gets better with each listen. Even though it’s only 30 minutes long, it’s so dense and packed with so many treasures that repeated listens become super rewarding. At times hopeful, restless, cathartic and bewildering, with Angel Pulse Blood Orange has created a worthy epilogue to Negro Swan and a record that stands perfectly in it’s time not only in format but content.
review by Adam Fink
Blood Orange tour dates:
July 12 – Rotterdam, NL – North Sea Jazz Festival
July 13 – London, UK – BST Hyde Park
July 15 – Paris, FR – Élysée Monmartre
Aug 1 – New York, NY – Lincoln Center Out Of Doors
Aug 5 – Copenhagen, DE – Vega
Aug 7 – Oslo, NO – Oya Festival
Aug 8 – Gothenburg, SE – Way Out West
Aug 10 – Helsinki, FI – Flow Festival
Aug 13 – Berlin, DE – Max-Schmeling Halle (w/ Tame Impala)
Oct 1 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Events Center !
Oct 3 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena !
Oct 4 – St. Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena !
Oct 5 – Independence, MO – Silverstein Eye Centers Arena !
Oct 7 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre !
Oct 8 – Salt Lake City, UT – Great Saltair !
Oct 10 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium !
Oct 11 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium ! possible roll date
Oct 12 – Fresno, CA – Selland Arena !
Oct 14 – Portland, OR – Veterans Memorial Coliseum !
Oct 15 – Vancouver, BC – Pacific Coliseum !
Oct 17 – Reno, NV – Reno Events Center !
Oct 19 – San Diego, CA – Pachenga Arena !
Oct 20 – Glendale, AZ – Gila River Arena !
Oct 22 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center !
Oct 23 – Grand Prairie, TX – Theatre at Grand Prairie !
Oct 24 – Grand Prairie, TX – Theatre at Grand Prairie ! possible roll date
Oct 26 – Houston, TX – NRG Arena !
! supporting Tyler, The Creator