8 Seamless Transitions by Black Music Artists
I recently came across Kim Petras’ album, TURN OFF THE LIGHT (2019), which is amazing in the way that each track seamlessly blends into the next and it got me thinking about other albums which do this and why don’t more artists do this with their entire albums.
Seamless song transitions are not a new trend. I think the first ever wholly seamless album I heard was Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) but I think hearing the entire body of work flow so easily in Petras’ album, more recently made me think about how much a good transition can elevate an album and make me think of the album as being better rounded.
Most artists don’t do entire seamless albums but they do make an effort to include a few seamless transitions and that doesn’t go unnoticed by me. I’m rounding up a few favourites.
Janelle Monae’s Screwed into Django Jane off her album Dirty Computer (2016) is a perfect example of how seamless a transition could be, one song flowing sonically into the next with a storyline throughout the entire album.
JAY-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne (2011) in particular Otis into Gotta Have It. Iconic collaborations aside, Watch the Throne was definitely an album that eclipsed me when it first came out, but going back and listening to it, I’ve found an appreciation for it in my later years and its artistry.
GoldLink’s album At What Cost (2017) features the transitional gem that is Hands On Your Knees into Meditation. This one feels almost like a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ transition but it’s there. Hands On Your Knees fades to silence making room for the set up of my favourite Goldlink track Meditation.
Solange's Can I Hold the Mic (interlude) into Stay Flo off her most recent album When I get Home (2019) is firstly top tier Solange and secondly imagine being so iconic that you have access to Beyonce for your interludes, imagine being Solange’s sister!
Kendrick Lamar, this man is the master of seamlessness in his bodies of work but a stand out transition for me has to be Welsley’s Theory into For Free off To Pimp a Butterfly (2015). Aside from being an example of what the RnB genre emcompasses, the production of both songs tell individual stories whilst melting into each other smoothly.
Daniel Caesar’s We Find Love into Blessed, is just beautiful. Off Caesar’s debut studio album, these two songs blend seamlessly to create a love song which lasts 8 minutes and 16 seconds.
This doesn’t need anymore words.
SZA’s Doves in the Wind into Drew Barrymore on CTRL (2017). The entire album is such a vibe, and makes me so happy, but nothing makes me happier than this transition because it includes audio from SZA’s grandmother (who carries the whole album based on her advice, let’s not lie).
It’s hard to believe that it came out so long ago.
Childish Gambino’s Dial Up into The Worst Guys from my favourite CG album Because the Internet (2013). I remember being 15 and spending my entire summer playing this album over and over, but in particular coming back to these two tracks because of the way they blended together and how the layering made me feel like anything was possible.
And having Ludwig Göransson on your production team doesn’t hurt either.
What are your favourite tracks/albums that seamlessly blend together?