He’s back family, that’s right Bilal Oliver has a new record he has blessed us with. This new body of work is called “A Love Surreal” and it is nothing short of amazing. Out of 5 stars I rate this album a perfect 5. I listened to this album at least 10 times to make sure I wasn’t tripping. This album Bilal goes in a different direction from his 2010 album “Airtight’s Revenge”. His “1st Born 2nd” and “Love For Sale” fans will truly dig this record. So let’s jump into some tracks off this great album.
The first song on this 12 track album is called “West Side Girl”. This song has a Prince vibe to it and is a great opening track. On this song Bilal let’s the young lady know she is truly his type of girl. Nice mid tempo joint that is produced very well. The 2nd joint on the album is the albums lead single called “Back To Love”. Really great record here as well. He is speaking to the sista asking her what do they need to do to get there relationship back on track. This like many of Bilal’s songs showcases his writing skills. And it’s good to see his pen game is still on point. “Winning Hand” is the next joint I will look at. On this song he is expressing to the Queen that she is like a winning hand of cards. His boys tell him to fold and he says no way she is truly a game changer. Great song and I love the percussion on this joint.
If you love what I call riding music. Then you will love the joint “CLIMBING” which is the type of song that has that Isaac Hayes feel. The next song called “Right At The Core” is my 2nd favorite song on the album. It’s a very well written song and fits the album perfect. The song starts off with a great opening line “Right at the core, you got me right at the core it’s the art of love and war.” Whoever this woman is she has the songwriters heart at it’s core for sure. The production is real slick as well. There are several tempo changes that make it a standout for sure. Track 9 is what I call Bilal’s first country song. It’s called “Lost For Now” and has a country vibe but he pulls it off for sure. Just any artist wouldn’t be able to pull this off. The great Aaron Neville would be proud of this record.
I will get into a few more songs before I close out this review. I’m now lead to take a look at track #10 called “Astray”. Bilal speaks to his lover and let’s her know he doesn’t want her to go astray and wants her to stay in his life. This last song is what I call musical heaven. This matches Bilal with his college classmate and great friend Mr. Robert Glasper. It’s called “Butterfly” and it’s by far my favorite song on the album. This is a very stripped down song you just get his great vocals and Glaspers great chords on the piano. “Butterfly the struggle makes you beautiful, the struggle makes you fly. Spread your wings and be new again”. When I read and listen to those powerful lyrics. I think of my people and our ancestors. We have all the tools it takes to be great but we have yet to recognize it. And that is the message I take from this song. Just pure genius in my opinion.
I think this album will cement Bilal’s legacy as one of the great voices and writers of his generation. So please go out and support this album when it drops this coming Tuesday 2/26/13. I truly enjoyed reviewing this classic body of work. And I hoped you all enjoyed the review. Look forward to the next review coming soon. PEACE & BLESSINGS Dealow Morgan aka “Brotha Insight”……..