“Devolution burns inside me,” Spalding asserts in “One,” a jazzy and theatrical art rock track that best sums up her new wild project. This idea of "d+evolution" plays a large part in the music, recalling young Spalding's trouble with grades and her theories of musical evolution and devolution. And as such, this record is quite unlike anything the singer has done before.
Spalding uses an alter-ego of her younger self (“Emily”) and tackles a synthesis of prog-rock, art rock, jazz, soul, folk and even music theatre. Delving into aggressive political topics like racial oppression and economic glass ceilings, Spalding’s lyrical game is reaching new peaks. Her flittering jazz-soul voice would almost be at odds with the colossal and oblique arrangements if it wasn’t so elastic. The improvisatory melodies recall tUnE-yArDs in a more polished fashion. The Bowie-meets-Janis-meets-Prince is the product of an artist who has finally pulled in the reins on her music.
The labyrinthine and intricate arrangements (a product of renowned Bowie producer Tony Visconti) might initially seem completely removed from the rest of Spalding’s discography. But, D+Evolution is emblematic of her refashioning the elements of her music into something wholly idiosyncratic.
Check out the video for her single "One" below.