Last month. That’s when I first read about D’Angelo’s new song, ‘Glass Mountain Trust’, featured on Mark Ronson’s new album, Record Collection. Ronson described it to GQ writer, Will welch as ‘an eerie synth line, an Afrobeat drum break, and a Daft Punk chorus.’ I had no idea what all that stuff together sounds like, so I was more than excited to hear something.
Yesterday, I received my wish when ‘Glass Mountain Trust’ leaked to the internet. Excited as I’ve ever been for a song to finish downloading, I clicked play and listened to the song for the first time. Was I blown away? Not really. Impressed? Moderately. Surprised? Absolutely.
Ever since D’Angelo went into hiding after releasing his 2000 masterpiece, Voodoo, the singer has only popped up with new material every so often. He’s probably been in the news for his legal troubles as much as he has for his music. As the GQ story (from their September 2010 issue featuring LeBron James on the cover) about D’Angelo and ‘Glass Mountain Trust’ notes, when he came to New York to record the record with Ronson, he was arrested during the visit, for soliciting oral sex from an undercover cop.
But D’Angelo’s tricking and legal shenanigans aside, of all the comebacks people would like to hear most it would be his. The only question is, what does a D’Angelo comeback sound like?
Well if ‘Glass Mountain Trust’ is any indiciation of an answer, expect nothing Voodoo-like from D’Angelo when he finally does decide to come back. . The song is very much Daft Punk-esque, and that ‘errie synth line’ Ronson speaks about, is the single most dominant sound on the record. For all intents and purposes, D’Angelo’s voice doesn’t really make the record so much as Ronson’s production does. This sounds exactly the way a Mark Ronson record should and nothing we would expect a D’Angelo record to come back. For that reason alone, I am in no rush for D’Angelo to come back with a new album.
It’s not to say I don’t miss D’Angelo’s music, because I do. But when I think about D’Angelo coming back, I know my expectations are for him to pretty much make Voodoo part 2. And that is honestly what is wrong with a lot of fans who are asking for their favorite artists to come back.
We don’t want to hear the new versions of our artist. We want to hear our artists sound exactly the way they did when they left us. I remember watching Lauryn Hill perform last month, at Rock The Bells. As we all know, Lauryn Hill is right up there with D’Angelo, when it comes to anticipated comebacks, so when she started to perform songs from her classic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in entirely different tempos and arrangements, I was shocked. But I wasn’t disappointed because I had a sense she wasn’t going to perform songs she made over a decade ago the exact same way they sounded a decade ago. But for some, this was unacceptable. Many complained that she sounded awful, which I thought was a tad bit dramatic. Did she sound awful or did she sound different? My vote is for the latter.
Before saying what we think about ‘Glass Mountain Trust’, let’s ask ourselves the same question because the truth is (and you’ll hear it for yourself), I’m pretty sure those of you who were waiting to hear this new D’Angelo record were not expecting it to sound like this.
‘Glass Mountain Trust’ by Mark Ronson feat. D’Angelo