Dawn Richard: "Goldenheart" Dec 31, 2017 20:11:42 GMT -5
Post by Live Your Life on Dec 31, 2017 20:11:42 GMT -5
This was Dawn Richard's debut solo album, released in 2013. I still cannot believe this album wasn't financed by a major label. What an excellent body of work. The vocals, the drums, the sweeping synthesizers, the lyricism, the stories, the cohesion.....SUPERB. This may be a bold statement, but I feel like this could have been Full Moon for the 2010s, if it were released by a more popular artist and the music industry was in a different place.
AllMusic gave the album 4.5/5 stars:
Goldenheart is a major culmination for Dawn Richard. After Hurricane Katrina left the New Orleans native without a home, the singer and songwriter's career took numerous turns. She released an independent album as Dawn Angelique, made (and even named) Diddy's band (Danity Kane), and co-starred in Diddy-Dirty Money. Too impatient to wait for her creativity to bloom at Bad Boy, she parted amicably from the label and plotted a rebirth as an independent solo artist. After a mixtape in 2011 and an album-length EP in 2012, there's this, a sumptuous and grand album in which Richard develops her conceptual vision to theatrical, hour-plus scope. Beside production partner Druski, Richard casts herself as an embattled queen who "faced the beast with both hands" and seeks her father "to ask him for favor to take down this monster." Even if all the majestic imagery throughout -- wrapped in depictions of guarding, fighting, surrendering, conquering, and so forth -- is taken merely as metaphorical code for everyday personal strife, the album can be overwhelming in its artistic indulgence and intensity. However, Richard and Druski are extraordinarily focused with a deep arsenal of high-quality songs that segues with nonstop suite-like smoothness. It's remarkable that it was made without a major-label budget, as it's deeply rich and advanced-sounding with a wide array of gleaming synthesizers and percussion sounds, from chest-thumping bass drums to handclaps to timpanis. Like Last Train to Paris and Armor On, the album is largely pop-oriented contemporary R&B, ranging from the breathy and pulsating balladry of "Frequency" to the steely yet open-hearted electro-funk of "Ode to You," with a little inspiration from European dance-pop. There's neither a false nor awkward move to be heard; even the references to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" and Frank Miller's 300 seem natural and perfectly placed. Complete and correct, Goldenheart is a triumph.