Blood Or­ange

Mojo (UK) - - Filter Albums - Andy Cowan

★★★ Ne­gro Swan DOMINO. CD/DL/LP Maverick UK pro­ducer/ com­poser re­vis­its fa­mil­iar themes on fourth al­bum.

Cre­atively imp­ish, skit­tish and im­pa­tient, Dev Hynes’s soar­ing tra­jec­tory since punky noise mer­chants Test Ici­cles has seen a rest­less shred­ding of musical styles and off-the-wall col­lab­o­ra­tions (Skepta, Kylie, The Chem­i­cal Broth­ers). Al­most ran­domly push­ing at the same but­tons on race, op­pres­sion and sex­u­al­ity as 2016’s Free­town Sound, and with a broadly sim­i­lar mix­tape aes­thetic, his fourth Blood Or­ange out­ing pits Hynes’s tremu­lously frag­ile falsetto against repack­aged ’70s funk, ’80s Prince-lite R&B and skewed pop (Char­coal Baby, Or­lando). While duets with a drawly Puff Daddy and singsongy A$AP Rocky are rare mis­fires, real magic ar­rives via spir­ited cameos from Ian Isiah, Steve Lacy and in the soul­ful laid­back purr of Ge­or­gia Anne Muldrow (on jazzy lovers hym­nal Run­nin’). For all that, Ne­gro Swan is more con­sol­i­da­tion than the next great leap for­wards.

Dev Hynes gives Blood Or­ange an­other squeeze.

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