Bilal A Love Surreal

BilalA Love Surreal
If Bilal's 2010 effort, Airtight's Revenge, functioned as an electro-funk "fuck you!" to the unfortunate neo-soul label that has dogged his career, A Love Surreal is a Salvador Dali-inspired outing that juxtaposes soul, funk and jazz sounds to create an imaginative redefinition of R&B. The Philly-based artist has always existed in the highly respected wing of the R&B pantheon and his fearlessness in feeding his musical muse — commercial considerations be damned — has been a defining characteristic of the artist's career. Bilal describes creating A Love Surreal as a surrealistic exploration of love and, indeed, he delivers on this end. His trademark vocals and lyricism layered overtop dreamily lush instrumentation and syncopation drive the project. A track like "A Winning Hand" is Prince-esque in nature and wholly Bilal in execution, while single "Back to Love" stands as vintage R&B and "Slipping Away" and "Butterfly" drip with jazz-/soul-flavoured authenticity. Although likely a bit too laid-back for the mainstream, A Love Surreal is a breezily solid R&B/soul affair that shows Bilal in fine form. (eOne)