Blackheart is a Dawn Richard’s suite-laced sweep album that is highly dense and charismatic, blended with his emotional and musical bedrock and sweet solo voice. Blackheart is the sophomore album of some sort of trilogy that began with his 2013’s Goldenheart, portraying its predecessors violent imagery integrated with a diverse approach to R & B and pop.
For instance, “Calypso “ is a sample track where PC music meets jungle, sometimes giving way to Dawn’s calm interjections by a unique way of a vocoder or some pop that follows her mediation of an infamous archetype on “Billie Jean” that stands out as a sample of her distinct range. Richard improves her Linndrum Sonics found in her debut ‘Heart’ trilogy album by giving gourd piano, treated bell simulacra that are worth an Apex Twin and a Flaming Lips-fried vocoder.
Dawn’s presence on this track is bound to fragmented phrases-some clear and brighter, others perceived as being beyond intelligibility; foreshadowing the great range of ways in which she treats her own voice over the course of the album.
Her crystalline opener, “Noir (Intro),” reverberates some emptiness, from where Noiscastle III’s production discloses the album in the image of a duet, between the music of Richard’s voice, and his music’s voice. Most of the music in the album is comprised of her own voice; with the instrumentals being always lined with some heavily modified buried harmonies and vocal samples.
Dawn Richard’s Blackheart is an outstanding sequel to the previously released phenomenal Goldenheart, where she had promised that we will never witness the break of Dawn though we see her bend here as she struggles to trace her way. The album was perfectly trailed by two leading singles in 2013, ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘Judith’ that suggested the transition of her songwriting skills into an admirable though impenetrable territory. The basic arrangement of ‘Titans’ inspired by mythology forms a soft cushion of layered gaps of breath and voices embraced as percussion.
‘Adderall/Sold’, an outstanding seven-and-a-half-minute epic track that uniquely purports to be comprised of two songs, though sounds like seven, takes the Blackheart aesthetic to astonishing musical heights. The song sounds more of a narrative on prescription drugs that has been broken open by an enticing breathtaking acapella moment. For instance, Richard urgently intones the words “Get thee right, get, get thee right,” over a sweetly pulsing electro outro.
Richard’s 60 –minute self-search never feels aimless or passive. Despite Dawn forgoing the exceptional show-stopping choruses such as the smoothness of ‘Frequency’ and ‘Bobs’ for the most part of the album, there emerges an affirmative and immersive vision of Dawn battling herself and making noise in an exceedingly dampening industry, something similar to what happens in a gambler’s head seeing a promo code but afraid of becoming addict. Blackheart is charismatic, ongoing, nearly seamless and unselfconscious through its refashioning nature of steel drums, the 80’s guitar licks, flutes, trap snares and 256-bit EDM.
Goldenheart boldly brings Dawn’s significantly undervalued quality of art, implacable single-mindedness, and chiming synth patterns blended with her sweet vocals into a new fray of holy war and ultimately resurrecting herself into the industry.
Also see : The review of Pitchfork