Newest Review: ... vocal performance in this track. The backing vocals add atmosphere and it's just a superb track. Despite being a great track, it never mad... more
Throwback to 60s a real success
The Way I See It - Raphael Saadiq
Member Name: drakesdrum
The Way I See It - Raphael Saadiq
Advantages: Consistently great album with many good tracks
Disadvantages: A few more forgettable tracks
Raphael Saadiq is famed for being the lead vocalist in Tony! Toni! Tone! and since that he's done a lot of collaboration work and in 2008 he released this "The Way I See It" released under Sony BMG as his fourth solo album. This album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 51st Grammy Awards and it's not difficult to see why.
The album is a glorious mix of sounds, soul, pop, R & B, motown styles amongst others all on show in this album. The album is very strong all the way through, with some great uplifting and chirpy tracks which are good to dance too as well.
It's a refreshing throwback to the 60s in an updated and modern style.
Sure Hope You Mean It
This track sums up the whole album perfectly. A motown sounding track, it's an excellently arranged track that sounds very chirpy. It's a mid-tempo track with a great melody. the chorus in particular is very catchy, largely owing to the backing vocals. A great way to start the album. Having said that, it would be good if the tempo was picked up a little as I think it would bring an injection of energy it may need. I saw him on TV play this at a quicker pace and it worked really well.
This is a short, punchy track with a swagger about it which makes for great listening. The bassline is particularly great and Raphael puts in a great vocal performance in this track. The backing vocals add atmosphere and it's just a superb track. Despite being a great track, it never made a dent in the charts when released as a single.
Another upbeat and uplifting track which sounds brilliant. Again the backing vocals are prominent and they work extremely well. This is a good track to dance along to with the bouncy bass and drum too. A very well produced track, Raphael is again on top form in this track.
This track features the Rebirth Brass Band and they are heard throughout. It really works too, it sounds fantastic with lots of horns and strings complimenting each other to make a track which mixes jazz, soul, pop and other genres too. The track doesn't leave the same pitch throughout but it isn't boring by any means.
Just One Kiss
This track features Joss Stone who puts in a great performance. The music is excellently arranged, lots of strings and a great bassline making a dreamy and atmospheric track. The sort of track that is good to listen to lying down on a hill looking into a summers sky. I felt Joss and Raphael's vocals suited really well and this track is yet another high point.
Love That Girl
This is very motown sounding track with a fantastic drum beat. The vocals are ina reflective mood. Also present is some nice string work. However it's not one of his most interesting tracks and one of the albums few low points.
A different sounding track to the rest of the album. It's a track with emotion and feeling, a very soul sounding track. Slow paced which fits the track well, Raphael puts in a good vocal performance. Not the best track on the album but well worth a listen to.
Staying In Love
A bit samey this track, there isn't really anything that sets it apart from the rest of the album. The tempo has been picked up but it is lacking in melody both from the music and the vocals. I didn't know what to do with this track, I didn't want to dance and it didn't provoke much thought, it's just a pretty average track.
Another different style this track and it's a fabulous effort. The intro is very atmospheric with lots of strings and a prominent drum line which carries on throughout the track. A great vocal performance from Raphael, I really like this track. The backing vocals also add to the feel of an atmospheric and reflective track.
Let's Take A Walk
At two and a half minutes, this is a punchy track which has a confidence and energy which brushes off on me, the listener. Raphael sings with a swagger and it's another good track.
Never Give You Up
This track features Stevie Wonder and CJ and their contributions are clear to see. The track has very much a soul and R&B feel to it. It's a good sounding track with lots of strings and a decent melody.
At four minutes long this is one of the longest songs on the album and it's inkeeping with the sound of the track. It's not very catchy, it's not very poppy but it's a good sounding track where the vocals and the music really compliment each other very well indeed. Good track.
This is a remix of the earlier track featuring Jay-Z. This is definitely the low point on the album, I just don't think Jay-Z fits in with this album at all. The music sounds good, delicate and emotional whereas Jay-Z comes in with his rapper style vocals that just don't fit the track at all. A needless track to include on the album and it's definitely the biggest low point on the album. I feel the track 'Sometimes' would've been a good way of finishing but alas it wasn't to be.
This album is a fantastic effort from Raphael, plucking sounds from the 60s from a variety of styles and putting them in a modern setting. It's a great album which mixes many different genres to make a wonderful cocktail of sounds, put together to make an album that would not feel out of place in the 60s. The most prominent style I'd argue is motown, which is certainly a good thing as it's not as easy style to pull off but Raphael does it with great style, swagger, confidence, emotion and energy.
Summary: A good album which will appeal to many people