Raphael Saadiq: Stone Rollin’,

Raphael Saadiq
Stone Rollin’
Columbia
Rating: ★★★☆☆

R&B stalwart Raphael Saadiq returns on his fourth solo album, Stone Rollin’, with plenty of soul to spare. A former member of the 80s trio Tony! Toni! Tone!, the multi-talented songwriter also produced the record and contributed bass, guitar, keyboard, and percussion.

“Heart Attack” opens the album with a retro-tinged rock sound, the old-fashioned simplicity making for an immediate delivery. “Radio” sounds fit for a checkered vintage dancefloor, while “Day Dreams” looks for optimism in a time of recession, featuring Robert Randolph on steel guitar. On the incongruously titled “Go To Hell,” Saadiq preaches togetherness. Recent single “Good Man” features a compelling twist with a female vocalist singing the hook “I’m a good man / Food on the table / Working two jobs / Ready, willing, and able” as the narrator mourns his unfaithful partner’s betrayal.

The power of Saadiq’s time-tested voice is at the heart of every song. Stone Rollin‘s sound may be largely derived from the past, but Saadiq’s messages of love, loss, and positive thinking transcend time periods.