‘Redemption’ is the final instalment of a trilogy from D∆WN (AKA Dawn Richard) that’s also featured the albums ‘Goldenheart’; and ‘Blackheart'. Inadvertently, it’s a window into the cyclical nature of trends in popular music, and the notion of cool.
When D∆WN mines her influences from a few years back, her club-influenced, maximalist dance-R&B sounds dated now that we live in the world of Drake and The Weeknd. However, when she sets her time machine dial even further back to a time when the spasmodic beats of The Neptunes ruled the airwaves, her sound becomes fresh and futuristic.
This means ‘Redemption’ is sometimes a disjointed affair, and seems unlikely to lift D∆WN out of the cult leagues. It’s an ambitious and sprawling work that tackles some big topics, but it’s not fit to hold a candle to the likes of ‘Lemonade’, ‘Blonde’ and ‘A Seat At The Table’, all of which have furthered the cause of confessional R&B this year, and have done so while being resolutely down-tempo.
Words: Joe Rivers
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