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Alternative & Indie - Released June 28, 2016 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Devonté Hynes' genre-hopping career has been nothing if not an exploration of identity. So if Hynes' time with Test Icicles represents early teenage angst, and Lightspeed Champion is the melancholic bewilderment of the early twenties, then surely Blood Orange is the assured, almost full-blown, adult? Not quite. Although the quest for personal discovery never truly ends, there comes a time when we stop looking inward and begin to question our place in the wider picture, fraught with injustice, prejudice, and peers who are just as lost. The struggle with identity and its interaction with the world is perfectly captured within the 17 tracks of Freetown Sound; often confusing, with multiple overlapping thoughts, the album charts a parallel course through Hynes' personal reflections on race and gender, and his impetus to call out the obstacles shared by all those who consider themselves outsiders. Hynes' reflection is far-reaching, going all the way back to the capital of Sierra Leone's complex history -- where his father was born -- for its thematic roots. The complex tapestry is woven from the present, though, "Augustine" being a fine example of this as Hynes discusses his parents, his current situation, and the effect that Christianity has had on all of their lives. He quotes Saint Augustine, references Trayvon Martin, and even sings in Krio toward the end; that's all achieved in less than five minutes. Considering that the album clocks in at around an hour, it's easy to imagine the overall density. There are so many ideas, guest appearances, and samples that Hynes transcends the concept of a personal record; Freetown Sound is the closest you'll get to being Devonté Hynes' mind, body, and soul. Such a complex experience makes the first listen challenging; the first half of the album swims past in a woozy, yet harmonious, deluge of expressions, thoughts, and feelings. Initially, latching onto something concrete proves difficult, but around halfway the picture becomes a little more focused. "Hands Up" and "Hadron Collider" mark the change; the latter track, with its standout guest vocal from Nelly Furtado, shines in particular. There are so many collaborators here, but none really stand out like Samantha Urbani or Skepta did on Cupid Deluxe. They instead seem to represent the circle of influence and influencers present in Hynes' life; there's always been an argument that identity is a reflection of the company you keep. The number of guests present, whether with full vocals or just short clips, only goes to show how far Hynes has expanded his sphere in the last three years. The record is so personal that the only one able to understand every layer is Hynes himself. As a result, Freetown Sound can come across as weighty, indecipherable chaos to some. But for anyone who can relate to him on some level, it's hard not to be in awe of a man as complicated as Devonté Hynes being able to compose such an insightful, personal experience. ~ Liam Martin
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

Distinctions 5/6 de Magic - Pitchfork: Best New Music
After debuting his new project Blood Orange with a fairly straightforward chillwave/electro-pop album full of hooky, sexy songs that worked like a collection of great singles, Dev Hynes returned with a second album that was anything but straightforward. In fact, Cupid Deluxe is something of a hot mess. It's unfocused, sprawling, and so full of ideas that it never seems to settle in one place for very long, jumping from laid-back EDM pop to soft rock with sax balladry to '90s New Jack Swing to bleary hip-hop and back again. While it doesn't make for a smooth listen from beginning to end, Hynes and his expanded cast of collaborators (who include the ubiquitous Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, Friends' Samantha Urbani, Dirty Projectors' David Longstreth, and Clams Casino) hit enough highs to make the album worth trying to figure out. Even if one never does truly figure it all out, there is enough graceful melancholy and tuneful sadness on display to make the album a bracing, late-night listen with plenty of songs that will stick around in memory banks and on breakup mixes. The songs that work the best are the most focused, like "You're Not Good Enough," the jumping Afro-pop disco jam "Uncle ACE, and "Always Let You Down," where Hynes doesn't let the soft focus arrangements get in the way of the melodies. His oddball sonic choices, like huge-sounding gated drums, '90s TV theme keyboard settings, and Polachek's showy warbling also don't usually get in the way, though "Chosen" might give anyone who doesn't worship at the altar of Phil Collins some seriously queasy feelings. And "Time Will Tell" comes off like an unholy blend of Bruce Hornsby and mid-period Prince thanks to some stately piano and squirmy sexual come-ons. Some of his choices are fairly brilliant, too, like how "Clipped On" is a brilliant mashup of Naughty by Nature and PM Dawn, or how "On the Line" takes the electro-pop of the previous album, feeds it through cheap Casios and too many Seagram's Coolers, then ends up with the most emotionally powerful song on the record. It also features lovely vocals from Urbani, who proves to be the ideal duet partner for Hynes since her sweet croon matches his perfectly. In the end, the album's head-scratching moments are outweighed by the near-brilliant ones, those weird juxtapositions of styles and oddly emotional times that make everyone from Solange, Basement Jaxx, and Britney want to work with Dev Hynes. He's an artist with ideas and while they sometimes pile up and crash on Cupid Deluxe, it's always a spectacular crash, and that's something worth investigating. ~ Tim Sendra
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Pop/Rock - Released August 29, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks - 3 étoiles Technikart
After releasing Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You as Lightspeed Champion in 2010, a throat operation forced Devonte Hynes to change his singing style to a falsetto. Now, as Blood Orange, not only does he have a smoother way with vocal lines, he backpedals from Bright Eyes emo and settles into a weird, poppy blend of chillwave, R&B, and '80s new wave. The new persona and synthesized backbeats seem to better coincide with his personality, and Coastal Grooves is the first outing where Hynes sounds completely at home with being unusual. Inspired by the N.Y.C. transvestites captured on film in the documentary Paris Is Burning, the lyrics swim with tales that recall Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” intertwined with Hynes’ own experiences as a street-smart scenester in Brooklyn. On the surface of Coastal Grooves, it seems like a sentimental love album à la Sade’s Lovers Rock, but seedy sex and sexual ambiguity, and the sadness that goes along with them, form a running undercurrent. Over a slow, sultry, bass-heavy soundtrack of icy electronics and twinkling guitars, Hynes coos lines like “Step out of the van and put your clothes on,” “You know I was the queen...mother made my dress, full of my distress,” and “Your freezing thighs warm me/Poor me, poor you, poor us.” The accompanying black-and-white stills in the album’s artwork tell of the forlorn stripper story that he is trying to convey, and he captures the mood perfectly, in an album that is fashionably slick, altogether tragic, and deceptively beautiful. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 24, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Two years after the release of Freetown Sound, Dev Hynes a.k.a. Blood Orange signs here Negro Swan. The British artist, who lives in the U.S., returns to the soft R&B of the 90's with smooth productions, slow tempos, sugary vocals and brass instrumentation, as well as daring to inject some soul. Hynes certainly sets the bar high when it comes to featurings. We find ASAP Rocky and Project Pat on the syrupy Chewing Gum, and Puff Daddy and the gifted producer Tei Shi’s crystal voice on Hope, forming the two high points of the record. Steve Lacy from The Internet also comes to join the party for Out Of Your League, as does the unclassifiable and underestimated Georgia Anne Muldrow (Runnin'). A true extension of its predecessor, Hynes tells us that this fourth opus is “an exploration of my depression and the other forms that depression can take. A sincere look at the existence and persistent anxieties of queers and people of colour". A well named album then. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 12, 2019 | Domino Recording Co

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Barely a year after 2018’s Negro Swan, Blood Orange (a.k.a Devonte Hynes) has released his latest mixtape, Angel’s Pulse. The British artist’s patchwork of dream pop, rap, soul and street sounds found its inception in the notion that “An album is a statement, but a mixtape is more like a mood or a series of moods”. Musical moments flow into each other or break off at unexpected points – it’s easy to feel a bit lost during the first listen through, with such an eclectic collection of songs. In the end, it’s quite loyal to the idea of a scrapbook: open at your own risk – sometimes, pages will rip, chips of paint, dust or withered flowers will fall into your lap, and it’s up to you to make any sense (or not) of what you’re hearing. This mixtape is as much a sandbox for Hynes’ wild imagination, as it is a place to recollect upon his nomadic lifestyle: the 14 songs were written between Berlin, Florence, L.A, Helsinki in Dubai. Travel might be a central theme, expressed through the music and its narrative structure, but there are many collaborations as well: Toro Y Moi lends his voice to Dark & Handsome, a wurli + autotune R&B jam, then Kelsey Lu and Ian Isiah deliver a gutwrenching duo performance on Birmingham. Justine Sky, Tinashé and even Aaron Maine (from the synth pop band Porches). Angel’s Pulse could have been a tour of a painter’s studio – a glimpse into their creation process, where ideas, drafts and completed works collide. In that sense it might make more sense to consider the mixtape in the scope of Devonte’s latest album, Negro Swan – how it might have been made, what influences were drawn upon, and what Hynes himself wanted to do. As he said himself, "There’s freedom in [mixtapes] because there aren’t as many expectations of formality.” His constructive approach certainly yields results – like a Monet painting, you just have to take a step back to appreciate the whole. ©Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 28, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop - Released October 30, 2015 | Mexican Summer

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 16, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2014 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released November 7, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 1, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 27, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released June 11, 2012 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released June 2, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 27, 2015 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 13, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released May 30, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 10, 2014 | Domino Recording Co

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R&B - Released July 28, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

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Pop/Rock - Released June 16, 2011 | Domino Recording Co

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Blood Orange in the magazine