A Love Surreal
A Love Surreal is the third studio album by American neo soul singer Bilal, released on February 26, 2013. He recorded the album for five months at various studios with most of the recording crew from his 2010 album Airtight’s Revenge, including producer Shafiq Husayn, drummer Steve McKie, and pianist Robert Glasper. Bilal wrote and produced most of the album, which he titled in reference to his unreleased album Love for Sale and John Coltrane’s 1965 album A Love Supreme.
A Love Surreal explores different stages of love in a cycle of slow-burning songs that Bilal deliberately wrote for female listeners. Its songs eschew the personal and societal themes of Airtight’s Revenge in favor of upbeat songs about cultivating a romance and meditative laments on its dissolution. Bilal wanted to make the album sound multidimensional and drew on the surrealist art of Salvador Dalí for inspiration.
Bilal premiered the album’s music in his performance at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. Its lead single “Back to Love” was released on December 11, 2012. A Love Surreal received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised Bilal’s expressive singing, clever songwriting, and mellow musical style.