Protest-music is an ambivalent thing: It hardly ever rescues anyone from violence, and one could even argue that it mostly helps those producing and consuming it with their empathy or their conscience. Still, that’s only one side of the medal. Because first of all, there’s nothing bad about wanting to sing against the world’s evils, even if it was only to to get rid of one’s own sorrow. In addition, on one of its most basic levels, music is always some kind of resistance, considering that there are still societies forbidding music altogether. So when Bilal is dedicating his fifth studio album to all the victims of injustice in the world, there’s no reason to doubt his sincerity. In particular, when he is doing so with the help of the wonderfully raspy productions on »In Another Life«. His husky voice that tends to sound almost squeezed in the heights perfectly blends in with the roughed up arrangements, which still might be a bit too playful for orthodox neo-souls. There are bits of psychedelics here, a few jazzy elements there, an interluding drum computer that pays tribute to »Sexual Healing«, or a guest appearance by Kendrick Lamar. The only thing worth bemoaning is his tendency to overdo the tributing. »Lunatic«, for example, sounds a lot like he’s trying to meow like Prince, while other tracks make him appear to be standing on Stevie Wonder’s almighty shoulders. But here’s another example of easy criticizing, since it’s almost impossible to leave out Stevie Wonder when making soul music. Especially since Bilal has no reason to hide behind the big names.