Blood Orange - Freetown Sound album review: passionate, personal, with a riveting activist edge

Freetown Sound
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Artist: Blood Orange
Genre: Alternative
Label: Domino

From Test Icicles and Lightspeed Champion to Blood Orange (not forgetting, of course, his songwriting collaborations with the likes of FKA Twigs, Solange Knowles and Sky Ferreira), Dev Hynes has shed a few skins across the past 12 years.

Blood Orange, however, connects personal with political, perspective with passion, and as such its impact is immense. With a riveting activist edge ("My album is for everyone told they're not black enough, too black, too queer, not queer the right way, the underappreciated," notes Hynes), Freetown Sound cuts every which way through highly charged subject matter.

The soundtrack to such narratives of religion, race, sex and identity is a striking assortment of R&B balladry, spoken-word interludes, NYC jazz-noise, and subtle/ sweet traces of Prince-like pop.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture