October 6, 2008

Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It (2008)

Do you love Motown? Because if you do, you need to pick up this album. Raphael Saadiq's traded in the processed 90's R&B of Tony! Toni! Toné! ("If I Had No Loot" is pretty rad) for straight up 60's and 70's Detroit soul. His smooth and silky voice is a perfect fit. The romantic and tender songs are mostly backed by group harmonies, lushes strings and and lots of clapping and tambourine. All but one song sounds like a B-side off a Temptations/Smokey Robinson/Four Tops album. And then there is Jay-Z. Really. It sounds totally out of place only because the rest of the album sounds 40 years old. It's as if a classic soul album sampled a rapper for a change. Preferring gritty southern soul to it's smoother more refined northern counterpart, I like the more upbeat numbers best ("Big Easy" and "Staying In Love"), but the whole album is really good, definitely worth a spin for the retro soul fan.


Mona said...

Wow, your description really intrigues me. I'm gonna have to let you know what I think of this... sounds awesome!

ps- I even love the album art! Very retro.

Mona said...

Wow, this is so relaxing and great for a night in. But you're right, that Jay-Z laced track is awful!

Raphael's voice reminds me a tad of Maxwell.. but just a tad. No one could ever be as suave as Max.

Thecranewife said...

"It's as if a classic soul album sampled a rapper for a change." Freaking finally.