D'Angelo explains title of Black Messiah: It's 'not about religion', it's about 'all of us'

D'Angelo is back and just to make sure everyone knows it, he's given his latest musical offering a headline grabbing title.

The 40-year-old "Lady" singer is back after a 14-year absence with his third studio album, Black Messiah, out on iTunes and Spotify today.

And it seems D'Angelo himself is pretty pleased with the album title. "Black Messiah is a hell of a name for an album," he said in press release.

In spite of the religious connotations of the album's name, it's more a political statement than anything else and lands at a time when racial tensions in the US are the highest they've been in decades.

D'Angelo recognises that the album title can be "easily misunderstood".

"Many will think it's about religion. Some will jump to the conclusion that I'm calling myself a Black Messiah," he said.

"For me the title is about all of us. It's about the world.  It's about an idea we can all aspire to."

The motive behind his album is reflected in song titles like "1000 Deaths" and "The Charade".

And explaining further, D'Angelo suggested the Black Messiah could be any leader figure who can instigate positive change and is not necessarily limited to a racial figurehead. And in his mind, that leader figure is potentially anyone willing to get out and make their voice heard.

"We should all aspire to be a Black Messiah. It's about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen," he said.

"It's not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them.

"Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are) but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where these songs can live to the fullest. Black Messiah is not one man. It's a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader."