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Terry Blade – ‘Neo Queer’

by Thomas Bedward January 15, 2022

Terry Blade – ‘Neo Queer’

One of Chicago’s rising singer-songwriters, Terry Blade has spent the last few years creating a brilliant musical world that artfully reflects his experiences as a black queer artist. Since the emergence of his debut album ‘Misery’ in 2020, Terry has continued to impress fans and critics alike, winning over forty awards and championing his artistic vision with a sound that is poetic, brave, and wonderfully unique.

While previous albums such as ‘The Unloveable’ and ‘American Descendant of Slavery, The Album first broached the intersectionality of his social and cultural identity as a gay African American descendant of slavery in the United States, along with personal insights into Terry’s struggles, his latest album pushes things to a whole new level, allowing the listener to step in to Terry’s shoes and understand his perspective. Titled ‘Neo Queer’, the new record is a bold, and wonderfully human weave of tracks, and its flows with a unique and expressive sound that sees themes of love, race, and identity mixing with musical ingenuity and piercing human connection.

Drifting between poetic soundscapes that artfully borrow from soul, jazz, funk, and hip-hop, the album is arguably Terry’s most authentic and engaging so far, building on his previous work with a brilliant mix of smooth cadences, infectious arrangements, and heartfelt moods that are sure to impress. Through tracks like album opener ‘Elephant’ and the honest soul epic of ‘Silent Treatment’, Terry creates an immediate effect, one that is built on lush arrangements, heavenly strings, and controlled percussion. While the music is enchanting, it’s Terry’ poetic and undeniably honest lyrics and delivery that truly makes its mark.

Armed with a diverse, but always emotive flow and lyrics that are defiant, ruthless, and fiercely sensitive, Terry finds his feet songs like ‘Let It Go’, ‘Same O Love’, and ‘All Ways’, layering a maelstrom of genres with waves of emotion that cut you to the core. While it’s no surprise that the new album is a brilliant blend of styles, the sheer artistry in ‘Neo Queer’ elevates it above Terry’s previous work, pushing boundaries and creating a collection that is simply unbeatable.

While the music on ‘Neo Queer’ is constantly changing and evolving, it’s the heart and emotion within the album that makes it shine so brightly, and in that, the power of the instrumentation and Terry’s vocals are both equal and utterly perfect.

Score: 9/10

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