Bilal, Airtight’s Revenge
Bilalâ€™s first recording in nearly a decade is a remarkable evolution from his earlier incarnation as a neo-soul balladeer. By tapping into the West Coastâ€™s blooming indie-soul circuit for Airtightâ€™s Garage, he has created an unpredictable and surprisingly provocative work. â€œWho Are Youâ€ shifts from a idyllic soft-rock groove into lazy roots reggae; on â€œFlyingâ€ he sings about a drug-addicted woman in frank language (with help from producer Nottz), evoking Stevie Wonderâ€™s classic morality plays. Airtightâ€™s Garage has stunning musical twists, but Bilal holds the spotlight with an impassioned performance, elevating this album above production trickery into something rarefied and special.