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A Love Surreal

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Critically acclaimed musician Bilal is ready to set the music world ablaze with his highly anticipated new album A Love Surreal featuring the single Back To Love which gives fans a glimpse of Bilals unique ability to reinterpret jazz, soul and funk for todays audience.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 26, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Entertainment One Music
  • ASIN: B00AXM48WG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,458 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andre S. Grindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Bilal represents another one of those artists I hope to investigate every time he puts out a new album,but never do. This time I decided to take the plunge. Personally I've noticed that in the past three or four years,the quality control,thought and effort the majority of the more individual talents in the music world have been putting into their recorded output has significantly improved. They no longer seem to feel inhibited by perceived tastes. They have again began to breath the fresh air that lingers from the thrill of creative innovation-that hunger to open up the door for the listener to open their hear and stretch their minds with what they are listening to. It was that special quality that defined the very artistry of John Lennon,Curtis Mayfield,Marvin Gaye,Frank Zappa and those still alive such as Prince,Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell. These people transcended musical genres and concentrated on what musical combinations best suited their material. And therefore it's fitting Bilal is thrusting that point right back home.

The album opens with the warm fluttering intro entering you into the world of "West Side Girl",a beautifully slippery,percussive hand clap powered funk jam punctuated by beautifully chiming synthesized keyboard melodies. "Back To Love","Winning Hand" and "Climbing" all mix this same harp like keyboard effects with chunkier,bass heavy slow crawling grooves-no less funky and creating some compelling and uniquely jazzy harmonies and melodic changes. "Longing And Wating","Slipping Away","Lost For Now" and "Astray" are more expansive psychedelic soul rockers,bringing out the inner Lenny Kravitz/Jimmy Hendrix in Bilal instrumentally but his melodic beauty and genuine warmth shine through like a ray of sunshine on all of these numbers.
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I will start by saying that I consider 1st Born Second to be one of the best albums of all time, and one of the defining albums of the neo-soul genre--or was it just a passing trend? That is the question I've been asking myself lately. Bilal's second officially released album (I never was able to track down his unreleased second project) was one of a number of albums that made me wonder if the artists who helped establish neo-soul were in fact looking at it as a fad to move on from. I'm the first to respect and encourage an artist's development, but lots of what some of the staple artists released after they seemed to have gotten over their neo-soul phase didn't move me nearly as much as what they were putting out around the dawn of the millennium.
Lest I dwell on all that, let me say that I'd consider this album a perfect compromise between revisiting what made, or should I say makes, neo-soul so great and exercising the freedom to explore broader territory. I'll admit that I'm breaking my own rule by reviewing an album after one listen, but I can sum it up by saying that the first half of the album is in the vein of neo-soul while the second half mellows out (which seems tough to do considering the chill vibe of neo soul) and explores different horizons. I give it four stars in comparison to 1st Born Second, but it is a great album and certainly worth purchasing.
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Let me start off by saying I am a huge fan of Bilal's earlier work. '1st Born Second' completely renovated my outlook on the R&B/Hip-Hop genre and fueled a desire to explore different types of music across all sorts of genres. This album, however, has brought me to a grim realization that even the most talented musicians with extraordinary potential to change the industry have fallen to the pressures of the music industry. Unlike Bilal's previous works, 'A Love Surreal' is a collection of emotionless, thoughtlessly-produced R&B regurgitation. Bilal's vocal range isn't a saving grace on any of the tracks. It's almost safe to say that the weak production on the tracks limit Bilal's natural ability to inflect the messages that he is attempting to portray. I will continue to buy Bilal's releases because I have hope that the man behind arguably one of the greatest songs in R&B/Soul history, 'Sometimes' (1st Born Second), will return with a deeper message in a more thoughtful musical package.
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By JR Musik on March 14, 2013
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Been a fan since day 1. Really feeling the eclectic vibe. A true artist is never scared to step out of the box and let their creativity take them to new heights. Keep it comin Bilal!
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doesn't have big production value, very home grown. It is an album done with him and his band, so it doesn't feel like a big budget collection, and the audio shows that. But it is refreshing because it is almost trippy in comparison to soul these days. I don't even think this is a soul album, but an album by people who really....experiment. They made this with his tones in mind, and some tones that he/they just liked. It is nice to see places where he shines, and places where the music shines and carries everything. But whatever i say, please understand there are some tracks on here that are absolutely haunting and powerful. Bilal is the only cat i know that vocally can hang with prince, even though i think that is best displayed under someone elses production. Anyway, Bilal...thank you for hanging in there. Thank you for keeping your head in that trippy space. Thank you for experimenting and having your own voice-this is what makes you AWSOME AND INSPIRING(besides your OBVIOUS TALENT)!!!. I really look forward to you doing things with strings and really creative layers. iT'S folk like you who keep me interested in the "music scene"!!!!!!!!!!!
Peace and love
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