Whenever I’m asked the question, I run a mile; I evade – I turn into a politician. The question…favourite album of all time? You see there’s just so many to choose from – so many albums that would easily make my top twenty. The old classics: “What’s Going On”, “Kind Of Blue”, “Extensions of a Man” – plus contemporary offerings like “First Born Second”, “Play With The Changes” and last year’s instant classic “Black Radio.”
Today I came across my old CD copy of D’Angelo’s “Voodoo.” I had an epiphany. This is my favourite LP of all time. There you go I said it. It isn’t an obscure latin jazz record quoted to impress you. It’s simply one of the most enjoyable records I own. This could change of course, but to be honest I doubt it will.
It’s my favourite, not only because of the genius that came from the synergy of D’Angelo, Palladino and Questlove. It’s not only because it’s by far my most played album. Nor because It has never disappointed me. (Three things always occur when I listen to Voodoo: I nod my head. I sing out loud. I smile.)
It’s all of that, but also because of the memories it evokes. It reminds me of my wife. It was one of the first albums I found in her collection. She told me about her love for it…I knew we’d be cool. It reminds me of buying my now deceased (R.I.P), Black Fiat Coupe and driving around London with it on repeat. It reminds me of a special time in music. A time when so many incredible artists, producers and musicians were all either breaking through or establishing themselves further in the minds and ears of all lovers of soul.
It’s a moment; And I guess all great music is just that…a moment. A moment of magic. A moment of expression, but more importantly for we the listeners, a personal moment. Our soundtrack.