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~Back To Authentic Soul~
on December 14, 2011
Anthony Hamilton is one of the greatest soul singers in the industry who consistently graces us with great vocals and a great musicianship.
He returns after what feels like an eternity with 'Back To Love', easily one of the best CDs to be released this year. The album showcases just how wide the spectrum of soul music can be and fills a void left by a musical landscape oversaturated with dance cuts, sugary pop, and hip-hop that unimaginatively dwells on bling, cash, and women. On this album that is so good from start to finish, here are my top 5 for now:
>>"Mad" - A funky tribute to being grumpily and undeniably in love. It's underscored by a killer harmonica countermelody that plays like a best friend consoling his homie. The arrangement and the instrumentation - the horns, organ, guitar - are sheer perfection.
>>"Who's Lovin You" - A beautiful lament that caught me a bit off-guard. I wasn't prepared to be so moved by this tale of unrequited love.
>>"Life Has A Way" - A consummate exercise of soulful introspection. I found myself saying "you ain't lying!" after each verse.
>>"Never Let Go" - My eyebrow raised when I saw Keri Hilson's name because she's so urban contemporary for a CD that's so retro-soul. But this duet works very well and fits snuggly among the other tracks.
>>"More Than Enough" (from the Deluxe Version) - This feels like a jam session that Anthony and the band had in someone's basement or studio apartment on a nice sunny afternoon. This one is gonna sound great live!
Like many others, I chose not to pursue a career in music (I crunch numbers instead). But it actually hurts listening to musicianship this great (Anthony, band, and all) and not be a part of it as a musician even if I'm just supplying hand claps! It's rare in this day and age to get something authentic that you feel down to your core. What you get on 'Back To Love' is pure soul music that's pretty damn close to what you'll hear in concert. By the way, if you haven't seen Anthony Hamilton live, what on earth are you waiting for? Without question, 5 stars!