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January 03, 2012 at 05:21 PM EST

For anyone seduced by his 2000 masterpiece Voodoo, D’Angelo’s absence over the past dozen years has been deeply felt in the nether regions.

Voodoo has proved to be one of those albums that truly stands the test of time: Its take on neo-soul tropes encompassed Hendrixian guitar heroics, mid-period Prince psychedelia, and the kind of surreal hybrid R&B that has become de rigueur amongst some of the biggest rappers on Earth right now.

Luckily, the wait for a follow-up may finally be over. D’Angelo has a trio of live shows in Europe currently in his iCal, and according to people who have worked with him (including Roots mastermind ?uestlove and Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson), his third album is finally nearing completion.

And now, there’s new D’Angelo music online, featuring the singer covering Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” of all things. It’s a little rough (likely just a demo), but it proves not only that he still has his pipes, but that he’s also able to turn classic tunes on their heads. Get into the groove below:

D’Angelo’s new album is called James River and will theoretically be out some time in 2012. If it’s a collection of nothing but interpretations of grunge classics, then he’ll be getting an A+ from this magazine—just as long as he covers “Hunger Strike.”


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