Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Rewards With Repeated Listen : Raphael Saadiq- Good Man

Retro RnB/Soul artist Raphael Saadiq can really hit the spot with some of his music, and yet other times he seems like he's trying to be cool just a bit too much.

Take for instance the masterful 'Skyy Can You Feel Me' from critically acclaimed album 'Instant Vintage' or the edgy 'Rifle Love' then juxtapose with records like Sure Hope You Mean It which have such a close an affiliation to Motown that you wonder if it was in fact part of the legendary Detroit label's output.

On this first single from album number 4, he's definitely grasped an opportunity to blend both vintage soul with a modern twist. On Good Man he makes a statement about trying to do the right thing to support his family including working two jobs putting food on the table and loving the Lord.

Here too he has carefully crafted a very decent piece of cinema (directed by Isaiah Seret (Gogol Bordello’s “Immigraniada”) which pauses mid-way for a piece of controversial female fight-club footage whereafter his 'Lady' frames him for a crime he didn't commit and in the process he is humiliated. All because he can provide love but not an abundance of money. However the song doesn't end there and we see the moral to the story come the end.

In a similar vein to Aloe Blaccs I Need A Dollar (see previous album review on this blog), he uses the sample-soul sound to his advantage, overlaying thoughtful lyrics to a sassy RnB-come-neo soul hook written and performed by Taura Stinson (Destiny's Child). If Saadiq wasn't on this record now, then Marvin Gaye wouldn've been. Times are lean and people are more likely to be working two jobs, something Saadiq grapples with on this timely song.

Well worth spinning; this should be considered a modern soul classic. *****

Taken from the new album Stone Rollin , due for UK release on March 21st

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