Written by Imani Wj Wright
As this thing progresses, we get so many jazzy, neo-soul, and groovy styles from Blade. If you ever listen to some of his previous work, he is impressive, but on Neo Queer, Blade has taken his artistry to the next level. If you listen to tracks like “Let it Go” or “Same O Love,” it’s almost difficult to not want to get out of your seat and do a little two-step (at the bare minimum). Though, on the other side of the spectrum, cuts like “Elixir” and “All Ways” make you want to gently caress your lover and turn the lights down. Blade takes us through a varied tunnel of emotions that maybe we didn’t even know we needed.
Just a few days ago, I was eating breakfast and having a vibrant conversation with my dad. As I ate away at my egg biscuit and shared several laughs with my pops, I felt and saw the sun beaming through the kitchen window. I asked myself, ‘What could make this morning any better?’ I then quickly realized turning on some music would enhance the already convivial time.
I had the privilege to get an early release of singer-songwriter Terry Blade’s upcoming album, Neo Queer. So of course, I had to turn it on. This was the first listen for not only me, but my dad as well. And let me tell you, as the first track “Elephant” got underway, we both began nodding our heads to the incredibly funky and resonating bassline. The song’s verses speak to Blade's strength in identity, overcoming of naysayers, and confidence as he refers to himself as the elephant in the room. “Public enemy ‘cause I’m black and intelligent. No matter where I be, I do me for the hell of it. you see me in the room, don’t address me I’m the elephant,” Blade recites. This piece sets the groundwork for Neo Queer’s overarching atmosphere as his boldness, evident dedication to sound, and consistent engineering style make for an acquired, yet grand listening experience.
A few things you can guarantee from this project are solid drums and gorgeous lead melodies on its guitars and keys. For all 10 of the records, the groundwork for Blade to glide over is set from the carefully developed instrumentation. Track 3, “Eaten Alive,” is a quintessential example of Blade in his top tier display of raw emotion. It’s guitar is stripped back, heart-wrenching at times, and more than anything- real. Blade gives us an almost spoken word styled delivery that causes you to play this back and re-listen to not only what Blade is saying here, but how he is saying it.
Neo Soul officially releases on January 14, 2022.
I’m looking forward to the public hearing and immersing in this.