There’s sophomore slumps and then there’s the one experienced by Bilal. After releasing his well-received 2001 debut 1st Born Second and readying his second album, his then-label Interscope Records dropped him in 2003 and the shelved Love for Sale was leaked online. Now, almost a decade after his promising start, he’s back with a new album entitled Air Tight’s Revenge.
According to Prefix Magazine and Billboard, the R&B singer said he is happy to be making music again for an audience that has always been appreciative, even when the money dried up. While most of the production work was handled by Bilal himself, he also brought in Shafiq Husayn and Nottz (who’s handled Kanye West and Snoop Dogg). The unreleased Love for Sale went more toward a blues rock sound, but the new album continues the transformation he never got to officially make public.
“This time I’ve taken that and mixed it with jazz and rock inflections,” Bilal said. “This record is about me discovering Steely Dan, John Lennon, and Bobby Womack.”
Don’t think he’s been waiting in the shadows for his chance to finally shine. On top of working on the album since early 2008, Bilal has also guested on Husayn’s album, jazz albums with Terence Blanchard and Robert Glasper, and jumped on stage with Common when the rapper recently opened for Maxwell.
Air Tight’s Revenge is set for an early 2010 release on L.A.-based Plug Research.