Album Review: Raphael Saadiq | Stone Rollin’
by Susan Mutahria
Dear Raphael Saadiq a.k.a ‘Ray Ray’,
You are giving me a heart attack and I want you back because I can’t get enough of your new album Stone Rollin’. Here is the situation. Ever since the album rolled out on May 10th,
I have had you on replay. I find myself looking for love from other
albums but then I figure out they are not you. You keep ‘old school’ so
steamy. You’re a good man, all cards on the table, music so good got me
dancing on the table. Stone Rollin’ is not enough for me, so all I ask of you is to go back to the studio and keep on working.”
Your huge fan,
Those who have not listened to the new album just branded me crazy. Others who know me well enough just branded me crazy then proceeded to buy the album. Either way you are all right because I am crazy about this album and the musical genius of Raphael Saadiq.
We loved Saadiq’s sultry voice while in Tony! Toni! Tone! and we also loved him in Lucy Pearl. We really loved him singing “Ask of You” and he never disappointed us with the album Ray Ray. He set a standard with the album The Way I See It and now he has sealed the standard and raised the bar with Stone Rollin.
Raphael Saadiq has adopted the funk and soul sound from the 60’s and 70’s and kept its authenticity through every song in his new album. The album begins with the song Heart Attack. When I first heard the song, I thought I was listening to collaboration – Mick Jagger on the vocals and Saadiq on all the musical arrangements. Was I wrong! That is how good he is! Every song in the album is written and produced by Raphael Saadiq which has allowed him to master his style and stay true to what he has desired to put out in an album.
In the first single of the album Good Man, Saadiq nails it in the head with the lyrics. He goes through a checklist of what makes him a good man yet finds himself wondering why his woman walked away in spite of all his good qualities.
“..I’m a good man, food on the table/ Workin’ two jobs ready, willing and able, check / Good man, up having fun / Got no kids and I love the Lord, check / Good man, I’m monogamous / Never did time, well maybe just once / Good man and I puts it down / Wanna say it twice but I puts it down, check…”
Now I know there are thousands of single women who just ran that against their list while others like me penciled in what we had missed.
The musical arrangement in the album seamlessly fits Saadiq’s style. The lyrics in The Answer, the albums last track steals our attention from the very beginning with the beat then with the lyrics. The lyrics of Go To Hell bear so much weight as well and in the end get us marching united in the name of love.
The album Stone Rollin is flawless and sounds like it has been unearthed from a 1960’s or 70’s time capsule. It’s appealing to listeners from all generations. Raphael Saadiq was not a recording artist in the 60’s, he was born in the 60’s yet he understands the music from decade he was born. When every song in an album can be a hit single, that is when you know you have a good album in hand.
The Urban Music Scene