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Apr 1st 2002


Oakland's own prodigal son - Raphael Saadiq Raphael Saadiq - Instant Vintage: (Pookie/Universal)


Hard to believe that this set is Rapheal Saadiq's first ever solo set but it merits true as Mr. Saadiq presents to the wold 'Instant Vintage ' the 2nd release for his label Pookie (the 1st being the Lucy Pearl self- titled LP released in 2000).

The 19-track set incorporates the sounds of all genders from soul, R&B and hip-hop to doo-wop and rock for good merit. Describing his sound as quote unquote "gospeldelic", all songs were written by Saadiq himself, who produces, sings, and plays various instruments (including the tuba) someone mentioned. 

Guests artists include Angie Stone (background on "Doing What I Can," and duet on "Excuse Me "), T-Boz of TLC (on "Different Times "), producer/hip-hop artist Hi-Tek (on “Tek-1 ” and “Tek-2 ”) and Saadiq's older brother, Randy Wiggins singing on "People."

You might wonder why it's taken him so long to product such a collaborative offering "It was just time for me to do this right," says Saadiq, I liked being in bands. I'm a team player,". While with
Tony, Toni, Tone he didn't actively wish to go solo, "but it was always in the back of my head that I did have that to fall back on.” Still, after leaving the group, "It took me a while to be able to take on the challenge of working on my own production."

The opening track "
Doing What I Can," is a journey of orchestral strings and tuba that's reminisce of a classical opening theme, the listener gets a tutural into Saadiq's life and times and mentions the tragic loss of his three brothers and sister earlier in his life. Next is the steamy "Body Parts," and the instantly funky, "Be Here." 

Other tracks reveal his affection for his hometown with “Uptown " and "OPH ", the soul-soothing touch on "Different Times " and "You're the One That I Like " emphasize the gospel sound he calls "gospeldelic", reinforcing in different ways the idea that sometimes your best way in a bad situation is to seek spiritual guidance. The album is set to be released May 28, "Be Here," the first single featuring D’Angelo, will be added to radio March 12.

This one should not be overlooked though it's early in the year, has my stamp as one of the candidates for Album of the Year. If you can find it pick it up (it simply doesn't disappoint). A most definite TY-D pick here.


Listen to Raphael Saadiq ft D' Angelo "Be here"

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