Raphael Saadiq proves that the sounds of '60s Philly, Detroit, and Memphis can still be mined for fresh inspiration. His last album, The Way I See It, offered 13 tracks of unabashedly retro soul. Like Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators, the former Tony! Toni! Tone! frontman plays yesterday's music sans irony. His warm grooves, aching emotions, and honey-sweet lyrics echo the Motown and Brunswick imprints, and he resists the temptation to "update" his sound with polished pop production. Saadiq doesn't completely dismiss contemporary black music, though, effectively bridging the generation gap with guest vocalists including Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, and neosoul youngster C.J.
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