Me and Those Dreamin’ Eyes of Mine (7/13/96) #74 US, #17a RB
“By the mid-‘90s, most urban R&B had become rather predictable, working on similar combinations of soul and hip-hop, or relying on vocal theatrics on slow, seductive numbers. With his debut album, Brown Sugar, the 21-year-old D’Angelo crashed down some of those barriers. D’Angelo concentrates on classic versions of soul and R&B, but unlike most of his contemporaries, he doesn’t cut and paste older songs with hip-hop beats; instead, he attacks the forms with a hip-hop attitude, breathing new life into traditional forms” (Erlewine).
“Not all of his music works – there are several songs that sound incomplete, relying more on sound than structure. But when he does have a good song – like the hit Brown Sugar, Smokey Robinson’s Cruisin’, or the bluesy Shit, Damn, Motherfucker, among several others – D’Angelo’s wild talents are evident. Brown Sugar might not be consistently brilliant, but it is one of the most exciting debuts of 1995, giving a good sense of how deep D’Angelo’s talents run” (Erlewine).