Blood Orange

Cupid Deluxe

Domino

Nov 18, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Cupid Deluxe finds singer/songwriter/producer Dev Hynes back under the name Blood Orange, following his 2011 debut with this moniker, Coastal Grooves, and two albums as Lightspeed Champion. As Hynes has crossed professional paths for recordings over the past few years with The Chemical Brothers, Florence and the Machine, and Solange Knowles, to name a few, it's almost surprising that there's been time for his own material.

After quality work bearing other artists' names, the latest Blood Orange album is evidence that Hynes cuts no corners when it comes to his own efforts. Cupid Deluxe has a full gallery of guests pitching in, including Dirty Projectors' David Longstreth, Chairlift's Caroline Polachek, producer Clams Casino, rappers Despot and Skepta, and Adam Bainbridge/Kindness. If that sounds like Hynes might be running the risk of being overshadowed on his own record, consider it more like Team Blood Orange having a deep bench that enhances the brand.

The album works on various levels. With the huge drums and rubbery bass of "Always Let U Down," it's a party record, one where a significant other is warned before an evening ripe with possibilities gets underway: "I can only disappoint you." Rap vocals are focal points for "Clipped On" and "High Street," with the latter bringing some dramatic weight. One of the record's highlights is its opener, where the sweet tension of "Chamakay" drifts through a haze of voices.

Eighties funk and R&B serve somewhere between influence and creative target, and the synth and slapped bass powering "You're Not Good Enough" set up one of Cupid Deluxe's period pieces. Chromeo may work similar territory but they can't claim those cool massed saxes closing out the irresistible pulse of "Uncle Ace." (www.bloodorangeforever.tumblr.com)

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