Bilal – Love for Sale
Interscope (release date: TBD)
The life of a musician must be a tough one. You work hard to create your art for a record company, only to find it spread across the internet, and then, to add insult to injury, the label decides not to release it officially. But what’s really got to hurt is when it’s a genuine masterpiece that’s received nothing but praise.
It’s not like I really needed another reason to hate Interscope, the home of Styles P, 50 Cent and Eminem, but here it is; Love for Sale may be the best album to be shelved in 2006. I’ve had it in heavy rotation for nearly a month and I’m a musically fickle guy, with a short attention span, who hates R&B, yet I love this album.
One has to admire the complete submission/devotion that’s referenced “Make Me Over”. It’s rare in this day and age that a man (even a character in a song) is willing to submit so completely for the sake of love. “Get Out of My Hair”, a song about a Ms. Wrong, has a seductive bass line and a chorus that instantly finds a home in your head.
“Lord Don’t Let It” is a poignant song of heartbreak about a “playa” that finds and loses the woman he feels he’s destined to be with. The sweeping epic “All for Love” makes for a great follow-up as it details the dangers of lingering on loves past.
“White Turns to Gray” sounds like the best Prince slow jam that Prince never made. You can practically hear the eggs being fertilized to this song.
Those are just the “highs”, and there really aren’t any “lows.” In fact the only flaw that the album has is that it’s not been released. I’d love to pore over the liner notes and find out just whose productions are soothing my soul and providing the soundtracks to my dreams.
Love for Sale has given me faith, not only in R&B as a genre, but also in Bilal as an artist. It’s better than his impressive debut and head and shoulders above anything released recently. While I’m a fan of irony, folks should be able to purchase this disc.