Hitsville, U.S.A. – That Oakland, CA Sound…

What’s the use when it’s all been done before, right?  Wasn’t the soul era perfected over 40 years ago?  I really don’t know – especially since it ultimately took a few white musicians (Z-Trip’s Motown Breakdown mix & Jamie Lidell) from the 21st century to introduce me to the laid-back sounds of a genre definitely lacking from my music collection.  I’m still in my infancy when it comes to this sound, which is more like a feeling than anything; but I’ve definitely begun to realize why the word “timeless” is thrown around so frequently when discussing an Otis Redding or Sam Cooke record.  And now maybe the name Raphael Saadiq should be included with those heavyweights, too.

Raphael was a part of Tony! Toni! Toné!; you remember, “Feels Good” and  “If I Had No Loot”.  Post the swingy r&b group, he dabbled in some production and songwriting, even winning numerous accolades.  Fast forward to 2008 where Mr. Saadiq has released his third LP – The Way I See It.  Yea, the record is a throw back to the greats, an homage perhaps to all the great R&B records that came before this one, but the melodies are there, the harmonies soar, and the man even recruits the part-time lover, Stevie Wonder on this soon to be top 10 record for me.  Lose yourself in this man’s music….

Raphael Saadiq :: “Big Easy”

Raphael Saadiq :: “100 Yard Dash”

If you’re feeling these, F.Y.E. is offering The Way I See It as a free download.  Do not sleep!


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