If Beyoncé provided the soundtrack to head straight to the dance floor with RENAISSANCE, singer/songwriter/producer bLAck pARty provides the soundtrack to the afterparty with the release of his new album, Hummingbird. The album offers more of the smoothed-out sounds found in singles like the Gwen Bunn-assisted “Soakin,’" “Hotline” and “On My Way.”
Over the course of the album’s 12 tracks, bLAck pARty covers the gamut of emotions, with the artist admitting in a statement that the album was intended as a journey that “represents the evolution of human experience.”
He manages to maintain his ultra-cool persona, even when he’s lamenting love lost like on the album’s opening tracks “Blues” and “She’s Gone.” He handles sexier tracks like “Ride” with equal aplomb, his voice lying somewhere between a growl and a whisper as he trades verses with singer Jean Deaux. His quiet swag takes centerstage on the bouncy “KEMET ”and “BOMB” featuring Kari Faux, where we quickly learn that it is an acronym for being “back on my bulls**t.”
The album’s grand finale, the lush and dreamy “I Love You More Than You Know,” finds Childish Gambino taking the lead as he pours his heart out about his late father. It’s both a quietly emotional yet beautiful way to close out the latest release from the LA-based crooner.
Hummingbird is a smooth ride from start to finish, albeit a short one with the album clocking in at just under 38 minutes. Even with such a short playing time, bLAck pARty makes the most of each second while leaving listeners longing for more.