25 March 2013

25th March - Raphael Saadiq's Stone Rollin'

Artist – Album: Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
Released:  25th March 2011         
Sounds Like: Going back

Ever wondered what it would sound like if your favourite Motown artists (except for Boys II Men, we’ll have none of that nonsense here) were whisked off their sparkly platform shoes and deposited into today’s music scene? You haven’t? Oh. Well, are you wondering it now that I’ve said it? Still no? Oh. Well. Anyway. This is what you would get. So...

Listening to the album is like listening to a Soulwax/2manydjs’ album and playing guess-where-the-multitude-of-samples-have-come-from - you can hear a little bit Sly & the Family Stone here, a little bit of Stevie Wonder there, a pinch of the Temptations here, a dash of Prince there. The songs here aren’t rehashed old recordings though; they’re not samples, they’re just excellent original tracks that happen to wear their creator’s influences prominently on their sleeves.

It also seems clear to me that this album has legs. I’d never listened to it before today and, to be honest, I’d never even heard of Raphael Saadiq. But the exuberant bursts of R&B and charismatic slices of soul quickly gripped me and I’m still finding it refreshing and new having listened to it all day. Songs that deserve particular mention are the peppy first three ‘Heart Attack’, ‘Go to Hell’ and ‘Radio’, the funky summer soul of ‘Just Don’t’ and atmospheric closer ‘The Answer’. Saadiq doesn’t have a great powerful voice like Levi Roots or Stevie Wonder, and it’s not as silky smooth as Marvin Gaye’s or Smokey Robinson’s, but it does do a decent turn at each style, and, after such a long time, it’s just great to hear someone giving it a go.

So, seriously, are you still not curious about what this review and update of the old Motown sound is like? There’s just no convincing some people...

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Heart Attack – 3:03
2.       Go to Hell – 4:20
3.       Radio – 3:22
4.       Over You – 2:31
5.       Stone Rollin’ – 3:37
6.       Day Dreams – 3:20
7.       Movin’ Down the Line – 4:25
8.       Just Don’t – 5:17
9.       Good Man – 3:46
10.   The Answer – 9:30

Listen to ‘Just Don’t’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtfOQ4thwJQ

Also released on the 25th March:
1997: The Notorious B.I.G – Life After Death
Also released on the 25th March:
2008: Elf Power – In a Cave

No comments:

Post a Comment