Bilal’s voice. It does things. He manipulates it, plays it like the instrument it is. I like it. A lot.
All that being said, of course I was ecstatic that Bilal had some new music out. His last musical endeavor, Airtight’s Revenge, was released in 2010. While I did indeed “get” what he was trying to accomplish with that release, I am sorry to have to say he did not quite accomplish it.
With the release of A Love Surreal, Bilal returns to the form I love though. If I were to meet a nice fellow, have him court me, and then be in love, I would want this CD to be the soundtrack to it all.
Gone are the dreds and twists of yester year and now Bilal is rocking a tapered flat top. A dress coat. A tie. The man and his music have matured, they’re less naive and not making sweeping proclamations. He’s taking it slow, but he’s definitely ready. I, for one, am digging it. For I have also matured and am less naive and not disillusioned by sweeping proclamations. I too am ready. It feels good to get to this point. And that is what this album feels like. A coming together of sorts, the culmination of Bilal’s youth and experience and his entry into a new point in time – true manhood.
It is fitting that the album opens with the upbeat and funky “West Side Girl,” which starts “Hey, how you doing? I’ve been watching you getting down. From the way you’re moving, you look like you’re from the Westside part of town. You ain’t got to talk a lick,body talk a lot of shit. Got one question. Could you roll with a cat like me?” Yes, I could.
“West Side Girl” is followed with another upbeat tune, “Back to Love,” which can be described as nothing but simply divine. “Jumped up in the sky and somehow we got stuck. How do we get back to love?” “Making reservations back to love.”
That is what I am talking about and to hear it, even in a song, makes me happy. Because if Bilal is finally coming full circle and realizing what it is all about, who is to say my generation cannot.
Standout songs for me are “Back to Love,” “Climbing,” and “Never Be the Same.” Download the entire album. It is grand. Magnfiicent. Divine. Soulful. Hopeful.