Album: Cupid Deluxe
Artist: Blood Orange
Reviewed by: Stephen Barry
Cupid Deluxe is, in a word, different. Through out the album that ranges from ‘good-different’ to ‘questionably different.’
Blood Orange is the pseudonym of Dev Hynes, a multi-instrumentalist with great ambition. His side project shows a somewhat underrepresented side of Hyne’s creativity. Blood Orange has a strong focus on electronica; with Cupid Deluxe he dives into the ocean of electro-soul.
Cupid Deluxe incorporates a multitude of styles, from Hip-Hop on High Street to smooth jazz with Uncle Ace. For those of you unfamiliar with the songwriter/composer/producer, he has worked with numerous and a variety of rising acts such as Florence + The Machine and The Chemical Brother. Elements of the album emanate a strong influence from his past experience. That being said, Cupid Deluxe is Dev Hyne’s most ambitious album to date.
The album starts off with Chosen an interesting track synthesizing foreign sounds reminisce of calypso with the xylophone and afro-beat with the percussion. Upon first listen, it was kind off putting (it’s an interesting blend) but on subsequent occasions the song grew on me. This can be said for the album as a whole as well. The album expands in many artistic directions and stretches itself thing, at times giving off a confused feeling.
That’s not to say the album is without greatness. Certain tracks really captured me; my favorite is You’re Not Good Enough. The song perfectly encapsulates the sense of inadequacy one is filled with after a major life change where things don’t turn out as you’d hoped. Samantha Urbani provides supporting vocals, giving a beautiful melancholy undertone.
Cupid Deluxe is full of flavor; Blood Orange has always been Hynes’ way of demonstrating his versatility. The album is transformative, while still retaining subtle pop-sensibilities. It’s not for everyone, and it’s certainly not your casual Sunday morning drive. Nonetheless, for avid music fans and those just looking for something new, Cupid Deluxe by Blood Orange is certain to engage you and show you a new side of electro-soul.
Tracks to Check Out: You’re Not Good Enough; It Is What It Is; Uncle ACE; High Street
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