Coming off of one of the most replayed records in a personal stash of deep cuts, Blood Orange established dominance with 2018’s Negro Swan, a passionate display of inner beauty that sparked a newfound embrace for love-making music. As Devonté Hynes’ harmonies began to spread their wings, his next step would be a closely watched and hopeful successor to one of the strongest releases of 2018.
Now moving forward with his feature 2019 release Angel’s Pulse, the sheer sentimental emotion that rushes over the listener through the 32-minute feature-length movie without the image both graces and breaks the audience. The first opening track “I Wanna C U” is a joyful push with one step in front of the other as Devonté Hynes flexes his muscular vocal cords over a joyous and triumphant return to sound. From producing, writing, and performance; Devonté Hynes is essentially a monument that stands on the shoulders of marble pillars.
Acting more as a blessing underneath a musical backing, Blood Orange moves through the crowd of sound like a holy child. Untouchable by sheer transitions and key changes, but with the recruitment of Toro y Moi on the track “Dark & Handsome,” the two have a chemistry that seems made in heaven. Their voices move together as two pieces of a similar coin that ultimately shines without ever pushing stress on the listener, with sporadic 808s that are perfectly scattered to bring a layer of welcome surprise to the record.
Angel’s Pulse is the balancing act of continuing an already superb sound and introducing new factors to the performance without completely rearranging the original idea. Blood Orange manages to dodge these laser beams with pinpoint precision, creating a magnificent display of musical athleticism. Even when moving into a track like “Gold Teeth” which is an instrumental remix of “Rinky Dink II/We’re Gonna Rumble” by Project Pat who is actually featured on the track.
Blood Orange creates a Three 6 Mafia reunion on “Gold Teeth” where both Project Pat and Gangsta Boo enter the frame to complete verses over the soulful strings of Blood Orange’s love child. It is a sudden twist from the often peaceful renditions from Blood Orange, but a flawless addition that adds variety to an already unique record.
As the final moments wrap under this silk curtain call, Blood Orange once again strikes a glorious vein with his newest musical venture. Angel’s Pulse strikes not as a quick viper, but as a slithering python snake that wraps itself around the listener, constricting them until they are covered in a sheath of warm, but forgiving sound.