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4.3 out of 5 stars24
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 1 November 2012
Raphael Saadiq is forty six years old. That fact alone will be enough for many soul music fans of a certain vintage to take a sharp intake of breath. I suppose you might draw a little solace from his unduly youthful appearance (or then again maybe not...) But of course first you would have to know who he is, because this guy has spent much of his prolific career somewhat under the radar.
Guiltily, it's taken me a while to catch up to his latest release Stone Rollin, but I'm mighty glad I have. On first listen it seems a relatively straightforward continuation of the `neo-soul' style genre he's already helped establish, covering all the usual bases - jazzy swing, strutting blues and Motown sugary sweetness - a quick listen might make you think many are indeed mere pastiches, but settle down and pretty soon a unique specialness begins to emerge...
There's a very intelligently crafted sonic continuity running throughout, acting to bind some apparently disparate strains together, which makes it that rarest of modern beasts - an album that demands you listen to the whole damn thing... And `Down the Line' is a track that would take gold in any era.
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on 22 February 2012
I brought this album for my other half and It's not that often that we come across an album that creates such emotive feelings in us that we find everytime we play it, takes us on a journey full of wonderful surprises. The track "Good Man" is played ad nauseam in his car, to the point where in the short time that he's owned the album, he's in danger of it being worn out. The album has differing genres for certain tracks from Mowtown, to Soul and R&B. In delving into various styles, you get a flavour of what Sadique was perhaps thinking when he put the music into this album, that is to create words and music to take you through al the senses. This album is so very special and will be one that we will enjoy listening to often and for many months to come.
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on 11 May 2011
A new Raphael Saadiq album is always something to celebrate, he is constantly interesting and holding down the quality and the new album Stone Rollin' is no exception.

This time he has gone back in time and paid tribute to all his musical heroes with a 'real' R&B album, not the modern lightweight pop manifestation of the term. Just to prove he is the real deal he also plays the bass, mellotron, keys, guitar, percussion and even drums on most of the tracks, now that's talent.

He nods his head towards Chuck Berry, Stevie Wonder, Little Walter and Sly Stone but gives all the tracks some Saadiq 'sabor' and throws in a few special guest as well - Larry Dunn (Earth Wind and Fire), Robert Randolph (The Family Band) and displaying his eclecticness even Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon.

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on 14 April 2011
This standard bearer for "old school" R&B returns with a new release that celebrates the classic sounds of 60's and 70's soul with a futuristic twist.
"He cut his teeth touring with Prince and singing with R&B group Tony! Toni! Toné! and has become something of a standard-bearer for old school rhythm'n'blues in his solo career.
"Stone Rollin'" is an immaculate, eminently palatable throwback to the sweet soul sounds of Al Green and Marvin Gaye, spiced up with 60s dance grooves, beat pop and glimpses of the big band boogie of Sly Stone.
"What's Going On" is an obvious touchstone for Go To Hell's graceful, uplifting orchestral arrangement and The Answer iss gentle call for collective and individual responsibility.
But unlike breakthrough albums by Amy Winehouse and Plan B, Saadiq's painstaking retro pastiche neglects to inject a 21st-century spin on its influences". F. Shepherd
It clocks only 37 minutes, and this may be a criticism, since it is a little bit short and one or two more songs would have rounded this album out a bit more.
But he has produced a few gems in "Heart Attack", "Go To Hell" and "Good Man".
It's worth a listen for those who love a bit of nostalgic 60s inspired music and there's no one better to bring it to you than Raphael Saadiq.
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on 14 April 2011
Anybody familiar with Raphael Saadiq's 2008 album "The Way I See It" will know how that particular album successfully captured the essence of Motown's peak recordings in it's sound. So much so, in fact that at times I wondered why I was listening to that rather than one of the many great Marvin or Temptations albums. Well the answer is that it is still a fine album in its own right but I am glad to see with his latest album, Saadiq has developed more his own sound, still heavily influenced by vintage soul and funk but now with his own strut.

Opening with a stone cold groover "Heart Attack", which sets up the ride perfectly. Heavy, fuzzy guitar, pounding drums, chanking rhythm section, powerful vocal, reverb effects, sirens in the background - this is more in the territory of Sly & The Family Stone. That's a welcome change. Then track two is a stunning, blissful love anthem with gorgeous strings and a rolling beat. Again I could say "Curtis" here, but its Raphael coming into his own. I love this. Its beautiful, lush. Background chant vocals kick in and this track soars high, high, high. I immediately want to buy a ticket to the show so I can experience this high live.

Third track, the single "Radio'" a classic R&B groover with mean surf guitar, finger snaps and a really cool vocal with a very 60's vibe. That's it already, this album is certified classic. Then after the cool sounding "Over You" we get the heavy, Rolling Stones-ish "Stone Rollin'" with wailing blues harmonica, strings and classic Brit R&B groove-meets-basement-soul. This is pretty incredible stuff.

The album has peaked. It couldn't possibly get any better than the first half? We get the whimsical blues of "Day Dreams". Who am I kidding, this is still great stuff. Then, "Moving Down The Line" with a sweeping melody and spacey hand-claps behind a dreamy vocal and some gorgeous trumpet. I'm noticing the production and its quite remarkable. Then, the incredible "Just Don't", with a thick bass, sitar, tambourine and spacey keys. What is not to love?

How did he manage to sneak this out on a major label? Were the executives on holiday? This stuff just flies in the face of everyone on a major who puts out the crap which made me throw out my radio years ago. Now I don't care how many Grammy's an artist has won. It just doesn't mean a thing to me. What does matter is how it sounds - and this sounds just incredible. Buy this, you need something to pass on to your children.
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on 26 April 2013
This is my first album by Rapahel, finally discovered his unique sound and do I like it? Hell yeh! every single track a killa. If you're into classic old skool 60s & 70s R&B, then you're guaranteed to love this one. We've all enjoyed listening to his soulful groovy production with a classic vintage sound. This is one that we will continue to enjoy for years. Excellent.
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on 4 July 2011
Wowsers crushed velvet trousers, what a find. Like some kind of melting pop of sixties and seventies soul, funk and pop given a contemporary twist. If you like the Memphis soul stew of Eli Paperboy Reed you'll love this funk-soul brother. Perfect for parties.
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on 4 June 2014
Love this album- reminds me off sixty soul- the guy has a fantastic voice- if you have never heard of the bloke- I would highly recommend it- Ally Bongo
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on 19 July 2013
Love Raphael with a passion I usually save for coffee or chocolate. Exceptional, just like his other albums.
More, more, more please :-)
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on 5 May 2011
The BBC review has this just right. The last four tracks tell us everything about the talent and production skill that Raphael Saadiq has and are the basis for my five stars. If there is a better song than 'Movin' Down the Line' released this year I would love to hear it. Soul for the summer.
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