Raphael Saadiq's The Way I See It album is satisfying for both old school heads and today's hip music buyers: his background as a musician, singer and songwriter is steeped in a love for R&B married with a commitment to making his own brand of expressive soul music. The Way I See It has the kind of smooth musical flow associated with great records made by pioneering producers at famous R&B companies like Motown, Invictus and Brunswick. From the foot-tapping opening track, "Sure Hope You Mean It" to the head-shaking reflective closer "Sometimes," Raphael delivers a present day potent ode to a bygone era. Loyal Tony! Toni! Toné! fans will particularly appreciate "100 Yard Dash," which Raphael describes as "a juke joint, Booker T.-type groove. I reflected back to my first T!T!T! albums when I was singing in a high tenor voice." Raphael grins when talking about the hypnotic "Love That Girl": "Man, that's all about the swing...the way girls swing their hips! It's the type of song that will make people move and that shuffle beat reminds me of those ladies I used to see playing drums in church!" With its Motown-flavored tambourine-featured beat, "Never Give You Up" is what Raphael calls "my three generations song. It includes C.J., this youngster from Baltimore that I'm working with and Stevie Wonder. Now comes The Way I See It, a masterful collection of new material that speaks to Raphael Saadiq's deep love for rhythm and blues.
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