TAG TEAM: Bilal’s A Love Surreal

Bilal's new release, A Love Surreal, has taken the charts over. Now that he has lost the fetters of a major label and landed on Purpose Music/E-1 the crooners is allowed to explore and express his visions. No more explaining to confused, sales driven A&Rs. Now he just has to make good music. Dare I say from the heart?

The TAG TEAM review squad sent in their thoughts:


What did the record feel like?

IngridE: The record felt kind of "psychedelic" to me.  I picked up on a lot of rock elements.  It made me wanna put on some purple velvet… Maybe smoke some hookah (or some mary jane as one track mentions).

CarmeloC: The record is a musical masterpiece. As an instrumental album it is a genius collection of tracks. Having listened to it only one time, late in the night while very tired it was able to keep my attention. The rises and drops in tempo keep you just slightly guessing, but come in time to change the mood before monotony starts to set in.


What, so far, is the stand out cut for you?

Ingrid: "Back To Love" would probably be the commercial stand out, but right now I'm kinda feelin' "Astray."  Some of the tracks kind of blend together for me.  It will probably require multiple listening sessions to get a sense.

Carmelo: The stand out cut for me, and I knew it the moment I heard it, is "West Side Girl". This means that having only heard the intro before it, I knew that the next 12 tracks would not make a difference. And still my response to question 1 holds true. They say you feel a piece of music more if you are going through an experience that connects you to it. I've recently met a beautiful (in and out) young lady whom is a trained jazz dancer. Though I haven't had the opportunity of dancing with, or seeing, her dance, this piece foreshadows a situation I'm hoping to be in. It basically made me feel good.  The whole time I was listening to it, 3 times in a row before ever going to track 3, I was envisioning her and me dancing to it. Cuz She looks like so much fun [that] girl, just my type o' girl.


How is the record different from his past work?

Ingrid: For me the record felt "vibe-ier" than his last ones, in the sense that one didn't get a clear cut sense of soul/neo-soul or hip hop elements.  It seemed less "structured" in a way — or differently structured.  More rock elements, Prince-like elements.  Even country at times.



How would you describe the release?

Carmelo: My view of Bilal has always been that he is a very talented artist, but for some reason I've never gone out of my way to mine his music. I always like him when I hear him and there is no question he is an eccentric. This release makes me what to iPod his music (which I have). And, now I want to dig up some of his past albums to see what I have missed. The cover art shows a whole new, cleaner cut look for Bilal, from what I know of his past collections. I am interested to see if I notice a distinct, obvious, or lack of change in his sound as it pertains to his change in visual artistry.

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One Comment

  1. This song is definitely an example of Bilal Unfettered… I have always loved his music (maybe not EVERY track)  none-tha-less, he always brings a grown and sexy vybe along with something to think about in his albums.   It could be that I am biased but  I think anything can be radio worthy… Just look at the garbage that gets airtime now (sorry mainstream lovers), would it be allowed to get that mainstream air play is a whole other story…