The artist wants to mend a torn relationship after time away (“The Line”). On “Devil’s Pie,” he rebukes drug use, thugging and casual sex, saying, “The time has come . . . to choose in which god we trust.”
Unfortunately, according to the liner notes, D’Angelo’s wishy-washy god is nothing more than man’s “higher self.” Gangsta posturing opens “Playa Playa.” To prove his devotion, he tells his woman “[I’ll] kill and die with you”(“The Line”). Obscenities and vulgar sexual slang earn this streetwise CD its parental advisory sticker. Multiple f-words are baked into “Devil’s Pie.” The erotic, graphic “Left &Right” objectifies women (at one point resorting to mild violence during intercourse) and glamorizes marijuana use.
Smooth grooves, jazzy horns, snappy strings, Motown harmonies and other bewitching ingredients give Voodoo sonic power. But D’Angelo’s lyrics and public comments reveal an inner deception. USA Today reports, “[This] son and grandson of Holiness Church preachers says the apparent contradiction between sexuality and spirituality is no contradiction at all.” We seem to be hearing that a lot these days. Don’t let young R&B fans dabble in Voodoo.