It has surely come to something when hearing the name, Raphael Saadiq, automatically conjures up the mindset that this album will be yet another acoustic singer songwriter. An over saturated music genre has meant that it's an automatic assumption. But we know we should never assume.
Raphael Saadiq is in fact a welcome breath of fresh air within current releases. Oh how good it feels to hear music with a strong and confident feel about it. Already an acclaimed artist in his own right, plus producer of hits for TLC, John Legend, and Mary J Blige, it is already apparent that he has talent.
This being his fourth studio album release, Saadiq has stuck to his old school R&B/soul style and achieved another piece of consistent work. It's not often you can listen through an entire album and not skip at least one.
Title track, 'Stone Rollin' stands out as one of the strongest, with a steady and smooth temperament. You can really feel the deep bass lines, guitar riffs and a heavy blues influence. 'Go To Hell' could be a real summer tune. It's light, fresh, and holds hidden details within intricate technical work and clever lyrics. The addition of a gospel chorus adds life.
Nowhere will you find that melancholy moan associated with many solo artists at the moment. Saadiq is bringing upbeat soul into 2011. 'Radio' becomes the real definition of this, with the addition of 60's style backing singers and a beat that couldn't stop anyone wanting to move.
Bringing elements of 60's soul and motown into a contemporary creation is just a tiny example of how adaptable Rahael Saadiq's talents are. On the one hand you can hear elements of Stevie Wonder, and the next someone like Plan B.
Fans of strong artists such as Adele, John Mayer, or Stevie Wonder should really check this out.