Thursday, May 12, 2011

Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin’

Stone Rollin’ sees Raphael Saadiq carry on in similar vein to 2008s superb “The Way I See It” in that the ‘60s feel is still very much alive and well. This time though the Motownness is replaced by a heavier R&B feel laced with some period teenbeat pop. Take ‘Heart Attack’ that opens the set with its pounding drums and guitar riffing way reminiscent of Sly Stone, then there’s swinging single ‘Radio’ that has a bit of garage/surf band appeal while ‘Over You’ has more pounding funked up drums that almost drown out the orchestral string element of the song. The excellent title track itself is rock & roll soul that with its wailing bluesy harmonica makes it a kind of early Rolling Stones dipped in soul sounding affair.
There are still some quite soulful cuts with the lush ‘Go To Hell’ dipping into Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” territory as it ascends onwards and upwards. ‘Movin’ Down The Line’ could easily be a forgotten track from his previous album as that Motown two step handclappin’ fingersnappin’ groove returns as does ‘Just Don’t’ with its touches of Motown’s late ‘60s psychedelic soul sound of sitar, and spacey keys added to a big string arrangement. ‘Good Man’ is another slice of smooth soul with a female rap that tips it towards a more 21st century sound.
Comparisons, much as I have here, are going to be made about this album with songs sounding a bit like this and a bit like that and some may say isn’t it about time he found a sound of his own, but at the end of the day so what. The melodies, as with all of Saadiq’s work are strong and he sounds like he is really enjoying himself, which in turn transfers to the you the listener, lifts you and puts a smile on your face and isn’t that something that all good music should do?

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1 comment:

kevincorcoranjr said...

it's not often i use the repeat button on my stereo. It's even a little dusty... but it's time to clean that up and use it for this album. Saadiq has put together a collection of songs that really stand out in a monotonous world.