The FAQ

Why this site?

One day while reorganizing my CDs for the nth time I realized that many of my most-cherished recordings flew under the radar of nearly all my music-loving friends. Many of these recordings are Black departure albums. Since I love to share, a site was born.

OK, so what’s a departure album?

An album that either expanded the vocabulary of music (like The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band), or expanded the musical vocabulary of its audience (like Paul Simon’s Graceland). But while the engine of Rock Music Criticism is designed to pump up oddball-yet-great albums from White musicians, albums from Black artists who push the musical envelope are frequently marginalized and forgotten. At least until now.

But aren’t there any famous Black departure albums?

Sure. Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. All albums that brought the listener somewhere they’d never been before and also sold a lot of units. There’s a few more but really, it’s a criminally short list.

So, any genre-busting album from a Black musician could get a review?

Not quite. It still has to be a great album, or else it’s just a justifiably forgotten record.

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