For something so quiet, D’Angelo‘s Voodoo has so much life in its 13 grooves. Over and over again, a warm truth resonates, fresh as ever: The Richmond-reared R&B maestro was born to do this, with drums and bass leading the way and everything else held firmly in check. In that sense, the record is primarily a masterpiece of touch; in the decade-plus since its release, mass-market R&B has offered plenty of forced retro moves and boyish gimmicks, and D’Angelo’s template of hush-down/fire-up hasn’t enjoyed quite the influence it should have. That’s because it’s hard to do—and that’s probably one reason why the sometimes-troubled singer has taken so long to drop the followup. It looks like 2012 will really, really be the year for it, and if there ever was a comeback that deserved all the blandishments available in the modern music-hype cycle, it’s this one. The so-called James River has a lot of names attached to it, but it’s reasonable to expect something tight, not indulgent, especially because Questlove is involved. Even if D still doesn’t totally have his shit together, the drummer definitely understands what’s at stake.