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One Of Those Tonies Bringing The '60s Back
The Way I See It - Raphael Saadiq
Member Name: XICripZ
The Way I See It - Raphael Saadiq
"The Way I See It" came out in 2008 and was the fourth solo album from Raphael Saadiq (who in the late eighties and nineties was the lead singer of Tony! Toni! Toné!). Here you find the artist delivering his progressive Neo-Soul material whilst still taking heavy influence from the sounds of the first Golden Age of Soul back in the sixties seventies.
1. "Sure Hope You Mean It"
Kicking the album off, you have a song which has him taking things right back to the sixties with a swinging joint which has him getting down to something which takes on the kind of production which you would associate with the kind of thing that Motown was producing in the sixties to really take you back from this early stage.
2. "100 Yard Dash"
Moving the album on, you see that similar things run through the material as much of what you get in it concentrates him around the retro sounding material, and you see that for this one (unlike the opener) the beats seems to take in a few subtle modern twists to boost it as he sings one which could easily have been written in the late sixties.
3. "Keep Marchin'"
From the title of this one you anticipate that the concept behind this album could persist here and I felt that it was effective due to the fact that you have him working with backing which you would immediately brings up connotations of this kind of music with backing singer set out in a very specific manner to have him come through well with the music he presents here.
4. "Big Easy"
Here you have him showing a degree of variation through this material as after getting into the Philadelphia and Detroit style, this one has him taking it down to New Orleans for a fresh little Swing tune to bring some life to the cut, and I felt that this one really brought something big to the album which hadn't come with the others up to this point.
5. "Just One Kiss"
One of the UK's most well-known Soul singers comes to join him here as Joss Stone performs a duet with the singer for this one and has him bring out the gentle material where he make love the main focus of the song. It wasn't all that into this one, in spite of the fact I really enjoyed Stone's participation) as it didn't really bring anything all that new, and some things which are used seem to be too modern and don't quite fit in with the flow of the release.
6. "Love That Girl"
With the sounds of the tambourine backing up a light guitar riff, you hear that for this one you are made o be taken to the place where the artist was as he composed it. His vocals remain unchanged from his years in Tony! Toni! Toné!, and this acts as a bonus, but it didn't really keep me that interested in what he brought for this one.
Here you have quite a change to the way that things are done with the music as you get Rocio Mendoza singing with him as he goes for a very traditional Soul song which has him getting down to the Blues in a very convincing manner, and so i felt that what he did was really taken to the right place, but once again the content wasn't really appealing to my personal tastes.
8. "Staying In Love"
This is an up-tempo one on the album, and I felt that unlike the earlier one on the album, this one wasn't really as appealing as the things which came off it as for this one, there isn't a consistent theme running through it in order to show that he is really trying to make all that much out of what you get here. It stays around the same level, but is just upped in pace.
9. "Oh Girl"
This was a popular song from the album and I felt that it really stood out as in spite of the fact that it takes on the form of what the Philly acts which operated at the time doing their male harmony material, this one is based upon percussion which seems to really fit in with the kind of thing which you would be likely to get in a general Hip Hop track in current times, and so it brings out something new in the release.
10. "Let's Take A Walk"
Here you get a track which has him working off the momentum of the track prior of it by getting into one which has him really showing how far things in the R&B world have gone, and the way that they have detached themselves way from the many decades prior to this point with music which has him wanting to pick up girls in a classy manner.
11. "Never Give You Up"
Here you have him working form one of the few acts who can say they really made an impact at the time when this album has been made to sound, and is still doing things well today as Stevie Wonder is one of the guests here, and I believe that this influence on the music caused the quality of it to really increase as he probably had a large role in making it come across as something authentic.
This is one on the album which doesn't really fit in as t is one which really takes on a form which has him working to the time when it was released (rather than the way the rest of the album was meant to depict the sixties and early seventies popular musical sounds, with Rhythm & Blues of the time in particular). As the Neo-Soul style is so diverse, it still doesn't quite seem like it was written for 2008, but it is a nice one.
13. "Oh Girl" (Remix)
Bringing the album to an end, you have him remixing on an earlier track from the record, and this time doing it alongside Jay-Z, but I have to see that Hov just ruined it. He doesn't fit in with the low pace of this song and his raps have no place here whatsoever, and Saadiq can't really save it from the point where he leaves.
Although I understand the significance of what the artist does here as he really does take things to a place where the music sounds to be taken directly to the around the time when he was born (if not earlier) and pulling out the best elements to do these in a manner which you couldn't tell aside something which was genuinely recorded then, I wasn't really feeling it as it wasn't my thing. However, I'm sure that others who enjoyed the music from these early Motown would enjoy this album.
Summary: Raphael Saadiq's fourth solo album