Albums to watch

Negro Swan

Blood Orange

Negro Swan

Fourth album as Blood Orange from Dev Hynes the multi-faceted singer-songwriter and producer behind Lightspeed Champion and Test Icicles

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  1. 10.0 |   The Observer

    Set over gorgeous production, and serving as a comforting reminder to black sheep and ugly ducklings everywhere that it pays to be true to one’s full self, Negro Swan is a dizzying triumph
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  2. 10.0 |   NME

    An introspective masterwork about the desire to be loved
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  3. 10.0 |   A.V. Club

    He’s given us not just a great album, but a piece of himself that stands as a whole truth that need not be escaped, but rather, treasured
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  4. 9.1 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The rare album that transcends influences to build its own vibrant world
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  5. 9.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    In normal protest, you’re allowed a core belief but not the ability to expand upon it. But ‘Negro Swan’ takes a look at “Black Lives Matter” and carefully starts to add the “because”
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  6. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    The past few years have seen Dev Hynes become one of the most prominent, important voices in pop. Negro Swan builds upon this legacy
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  7. 9.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Blood Orange's most assured, accomplished, and significant album to date
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  8. 9.0 |   All Music

    Negro Swan sonically is as fluid as it is fragmented, synthesizing and bounding between bedsit post-punk, desolate dream pop, chillwave-coated quiet storm, and low-profile hip-hop soul
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  9. 8.8 |   Paste Magazine

    With myriad collaborators from A$AP Rocky and Puff Daddy, to rising talents TeiShi and Ian Isiah, Negro Swan looks unflinchingly at black and queer life—its traumas, its tensions, its passions
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  10. 8.5 |   The 405

    Compared to the fireworks display of Freetown Sound, Negro Swan is more subdued. That doesn't mean it lacks the same emotional depth or power, the difference being that it challenges the listener to allow it time to unfold and reveal itself
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  11. 8.4 |   Gig Soup

    Hynes has once again blessed audiences with a Blood Orange record that will prove an essential, superb release far beyond the waning months of 2018
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  12. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The world could use more artists like Hynes — especially now
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  13. 8.0 |   The Music

    It's an eclectic mix of music that manages to retain some of the minimalist multi-instrumentalism of Hyne's other alter ego, Lightspeed Champion
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  14. 8.0 |   The Independent

    Dev Hynes has acquired the laidback air of a cat who once chased his tail but now finds he can capture it simply by curling into a ball
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  15. 8.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Personal, searing and close to the bone
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  16. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Sees Hynes thoughtfully explore themes of racial and sexual identities and anxieties within songs that can be as gorgeously vaporous as "Take Your Time," as ecstatically funky as "Charcoal Baby," or any state inbetween. Print edition only

  17. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Much like Frank Ocean's Blonde, it doesn't offer the immediate thrills of its predecessor, even as it stays true to and advances the artistic vision of its creator. It's messy and full of ideas, clarity be damned
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  18. 8.0 |   Crack

    It’s clear that through this album’s 16 introspective, tender and heart-rending tracks, this is the kind of world Dev Hynes is striving to create through his music: one where the negro swan isn’t only desired, but allowed to soar
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  19. 8.0 |   Clash

    The album is littered with exquisite collaborations. A$AP Rocky shines on ‘Chewing Gum’. He delivers glorious verses, that add some extra texture, but never steals the spotlight from Hynes
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  20. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Tighter than its predecessor and boasting Blood Orange’s purest pop moments yet in Saint and Nappy Wonder, Negro Swan might yet convey Hynes’ message to the mainstream
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  21. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Feels like a collection of personal and cultural traumatic memories, and it also feels like an embrace - a call for young queer people of colour to have hope, feel beautiful, and be filled all the way up
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  22. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    A voice for the under-heard and an education for everyone else, Negro Swan demands your attention, and is more than worthy of it
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  23. 7.6 |   Pitchfork

    Focuses on black depression, sketching his anxious alt-pop, progressive R&B, indie hip-hop, downtempo rock, and spacey chillwave into a minimalist emulsion
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  24. 7.0 |   Earbuddy

    At times, it feels like its purposefully trying to be a deep album rather than arriving at this naturally
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  25. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    If we could hear the music inside his head; maybe it would make good on the promise of this album. For now, Blood Orange remains an artist who flirts with greatness but frustratingly continues to fall short
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  26. 6.0 |   Mojo

    More consolidation than the next great leap forwards. Print edition only

  27. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    In inhabiting the blurry ground between pop and R&B, sadness and joy and the whole gamut of human emotion, Hynes has crafted a very fine album
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  28. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    Mercurial, woke, choppy R&B
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  29. 6.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    Perhaps Negro Swan is merely a step along the way, as Blood Orange continues to contend with monolithic, difficult ideas, but for now, this patchwork of sweltering grooves, amicable conversations, and urban ambience remains limited in its vision
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  30. 6.0 |   DIY

    Not the most immediate listen, but undoubtedly one with real weight
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