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Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin' - Columbia

Lots of musicians attempt to recapture sounds of classic soul, few actually own it. For Raphael Saadiq, Stone Rollin’, his fourth studio album is another indicator of how much a true descendent of classic soul and R&B he is. He tips his cap to the greats like Sly Stone and Stevie but all the while walks his own walk. The Grammy nominated Saadiq again delivers an awe-inspiring collection of throwback style jams on Stone Rollin’.

Part of Saadiq’s success is his veteran like approach. From his early days as a touring bassist for Prince, founding Tony! Toni! Tone! in the late 80’s, to making his own albums and producing for others Saadiq has a wide perspective. The now 45 year old Saadiq knows how to engage an audience, both on stage and perhaps more importantly on record. Stone Rollin’ opens a bit less refined than we remember Saadiq on his finely tuned album The Way I See It. “Heart Attack” with its unrelenting pulse and dirty guitar groove sets the tone for Stone Rollin’ that Saadiq is ready to loosen things up a bit. And as you’d expect Stone Rollin’ has a diverse palette, from the rockier edges of “Heart Attack” and “Over You” to the more blues influenced moments like the album’s title track and “Day Dreams” which features Robert Randolph on the pedal steel.

As we’ve become accustomed to with Saadiq, he finds that common ground of using his (and our) influences as a starting platform, but ultimately leaves his own imprint careful not to cross that line of being derivative. If anything, the songs of Stone Rollin’ actually help Saadiq broaden his approach and liken to his onstage performance. Already an accomplished artist, Saadiq furthers his success on Stone Rollin’.

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