The other day I was cruising down my Twitter timeline and Phonte post a linked with the caption “White Messiah”. Now of course the first thing that popped in my mind was “oh lord, somebody is doing or saying something about about D’Angelo’s Black Messiah.” Yes and no. SoulBounce recently posted an article featuring Morgan James who decided to a cover of D’Angelo’s Black Messiah. The ENTIRE ALBUM. I’m not too familiar with Morgan James but I do know that in order to be able to pull this off, you gotta have some talent. Morgan does. If you visit her YouTube page you can see her take a stab at various songs by artists such as Sam Smith, Maroon 5 and the Queen herself, Aretha Franklin.
First things first, she can sing. No doubt about it. When it comes to doing covers the expectation of greatness is much higher than if you were performing original content. We’ve been waiting on Black Messiah for years, and when it dropped it didn’t disappoint. I give her props for choosing to cover any D’Angelo track. I appreciate her effort and on some tracks it works quite well (Really Love was beautiful). For the most part, I like it. But there’s an energy surging through the album that I don’t really get from Morgan and I think is important to the album itself (think 1000 Deaths and The Charade). I’d like to see what she would sound like on an original track with D’Angelo though.
Nevertheless, I look forward to listening to more from Morgan. She has a great voice, and her cover of Hozier’s Take Me To Church is pretty amazing. But as it pertains to Black Messiah, I commend her for taking a stab at it. Like I said, that’s no easy task, but that album is a decade worth of magic that we’ve been waiting on. You gotta know what you’re doing when dealing with those powers.
Check out Morgan’s cover. What do you think?