According to Billboard, D’Angelo is currently holed up in an L.A. studio with ?uestlove and Raphael Saadiq, working on an album to be released next spring — his first new album since 2000’s Voodoo. And right there is where the report probably should have started and ended, because the corroborating evidence that the onetime neo-soul star is back on track just makes the comeback sound a bit far-fetched. First there’s the recent online leak of “I Believe,” a song D’Angelo recorded with Q-Tip a few years back — like, maybe before his 2005 drunk-driving arrest? And then there’s the iTunes release of “buzz single” “I Found My Smile Again,” a song that originally appeared on the, uh, Space Jam soundtrack in 1996; it’s been rerecorded with new music but has the same vocals — this “buzz single,” we should point out, could very well have been created without D’Angelo’s knowing anything about it. His manager, Lindsay Guion, told Billboard, “The song is something that’s very close to him … He’s able to smile again and he’s ready to connect [with fans]. He’s coming back. And he looks great, by the way.” Ha! Nice try, Guion, slipping that last tidbit in all casually at the end. We’ll need physical proof before we believe D’Angelo doesn’t still look like this.
New D’Angelo Single Hits iTunes [Billboard]