Editors’ Notes Detroit’s Robert Hood made his name as one of minimal techno’s chief architects with records like 1994’s Minimal Nation, which hammered Motor City techno into something stern and steely. But as Floorplan, Hood—now a resident of Alabama and an ordained minister—traded his typical live-wire sonics for a lush fusion of house and gospel, epitomized by his breakout 2013 hit “Never Grow Old.” Supernatural, Floorplan’s third album (and second as the duo of Hood and his daughter Lyric Hood), bears hallmarks of his very earliest work in the taut ostinato plucks of “There Was a Time” and the staccato snares and stabs of “Fiyaaaa!”; his minimalist roots are evident in his mastery of the rudiments of the groove. But it’s what the duo does with these skeletal blueprints that makes the Floorplan project what it is. The slinky “Oasis” balances cavernous house chords with an irresistible walking disco bassline; “Brothers + Sisters” puts a jubilant spin on classic piano house; and “Song Like This” channels the ecstasy of Sunday morning in flashing tambourines and call-and-response vocals. The highlight is “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” a gospel hymn that’s been sung by Mahalia Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Lauryn Hill and Tanya Blount, and Kirk Franklin, among many others. Pairing the song’s timeless refrain (“I sing because I’m happy/I sing because I’m free”) with a chugging organ-and-sax groove, the Hoods reassert house music’s place in a lineage of black American expression. They remind us that it remains, first and foremost, a form of soul music—that dancing, that most secular of pleasures, can also be an act of worship.

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