Blood Orange takes listeners on a psychedelic ride with mixtape “Angel’s Pulse” through its gentle vocals and bouncy synth sounds. This mixtape is not intended for someone that is listening to Blood Orange for the first time, but rather for those that are already fans and are looking for more deep cuts from this artist.
Although “Angel’s Pulse” released on streaming services in July, the physical release of the mixtape did not come until this past week. The record sounds like the perfect mixtape for a hipster crush in high school. It drips in nostalgia and flawlessly blends and folds each track into each other, creating the illusion of one seamless track. The only issue with this is the lack of differentiation between tracks. It is perfect for a night drive with the windows down. It feels like a slow-moving summer night and an album that is easy to play cover-to-cover.
“Angel’s Pulse” is loaded with featured artists, with one track standing out in particular. “Dark & Handsome” features Toro y Moi and is a simple, yet magnetic song. Its background is composed of party chatter and soft-spoken vocals. Another standout song with a guest feature is “Tuesday Feeling” featuring Tinashe. This tune is slightly more up-tempo than the other tracks but still bears the experimental sound heard throughout “Angel’s Pulse.”
“Baby Florence (Figure),” the mixtape’s seventh track, is the perfect soundtrack to a chill night out. Its steady beat lasts the entirety of the song, creating the feeling of time passing. This song features a chill vibe and stellar mixing. It wonderfully finds the balance between the music and lyrics while the vocals slowly morph into the other instruments present in the track.
Another standout track, “Benzo,” is the closest to any of the tracks off of Blood Orange’s previous releases, especially his last album “Negro Swan.” This track compiles soft horns and the vocalist’s smooth crooning. For those that have never listened to Blood Orange, this is mixtape’s best song in order to get a real feel for this artist.
Blood Orange’s “Angel’s Pulse” creates a mixtape that compiles and fuses different genres and sounds together. It overlays laughter, conversation and street noises with phenomenal mixing. Although this transcendent mixtape is excellent in its own right, it is not meant for easy listening. This is not album to just throw on and enjoy on the first listen. Instead, it relies on a listener with an acquired taste.