REVIEW: Bilal – Airtight’s Revenge
Have you ever been to a restaurant and you ask the waiter to bring you a sprite and when you finally get around to tasting your drink, you find out he brought you water instead? Now, there’s nothing wrong with the water he brought you, but you had your taste buds DEAD SET on some sprite…that’s the best way I can explain Bilal’s 1st commercially released album in 9 years “Airtight’s Revenge.” This album is mixture of different genres from soul, to funk, to blues, to hip hop to jazz, to reggae and they all blends together nicely. But if you were waiting for another “1st Born 2nd” or “Love for Sale”, you’ll be barking up the wrong tree here. BUT, that’s not a bad thing because “Airtight’s Revenge” holds its own against both of his former albums. It just holds its own…in its own lane.
The album starts out with “Cake and Eat it Too” which has a Dr. Dre feel to it. “Restart” asks the age old important question, “have we come too far, to turn it all back around, is it too late, to start again?” “All Matter” (which is my fav track) has Bilal asking “What is love? Cruel on the outside, hot in the middle”.”Flying” is an ode to the daughter of a hustler and tells the story that too many of our daughters, sisters, nieces, etc. have to go through when they’re left to fend for themselves. “Can’t say no shit that she ain’t heard before, can’t buy no gifts that she ain’t got.” “Little One” is a beautiful dedication to Bilal’s sons and with lines like “no matter what it takes, I’ll help you find your way” and “I never want to be a mystery to you” makes me wonder what would shorty’s life from “Flying” be like if she grew up hearing these words. “The Dollar” tells us about what people will do for that dollar, dollar bill ya’ll. “With a little bit of money in one hand, contract in the other, he wanted it so bad, he’d enslave his own brother for the dollar.” “Who Are You” questions people’s motives for being who they are. “Ever told you about the boy, who said he was a Virgo, he walked around doing every little thing he thought a Virgo does. Until he read in the paper, that he might be a Leo, so he started acting out on every little thing he thought a Leo should.” The album ends with “Think it Over” a beautiful track that 88 Keys laced. “Thought we were gonna be forever, like King and Coretta, I thought we could chase the world, but I needed air, I stepped out on the balcony, and the world took me out.” Wow.
Air Tight Revenge is produced solely by Bilal and Steve Mckie (except for 1 track a piece by Nottz 88 keys) and the music keeps you in a zone for Bilal to give you his newest, most honest and social conscious musical opus to date. “Airtight’s Revenge” might not be what you thought you were going to get from Bilal but give the album a chance, and I think you’ll fall in love with it…like I did. So, even though your taste buds might have been dying for another “Soul Sista” or “Sometimes”, remember there’s nothing wrong with the water the waiter brought you, in fact the water’s actual better for you.