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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!
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on December 13, 2011
Anthony Hamilton is one of the most soulful singers within the R&B world, and within this album "Back to Love" he does not let us down!!! Anytime this artist performs, he puts his heart and soul into the song, and it is heard within this album. His single Woo has been hitting the airwaves and has been a great sign for a great return. "Back to Love" is guaranteed to have you either nodding your head to the music or tapping your foot! This album has its share of fast songs that can give you a good groove to, and it has its share of slow songs that make you reflect on life and love. Song songs have a nice R&B feel and some songs got a touch of the Ol Skool music that take you back. I've purchased the cd last night at 12:01am (thanks to Amazon mp3) and I've been playing it nonstop since. Its been a long awaited return for Anthony Hamilton, and this return is a great one.
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on December 14, 2011
mr. hamilton is the truth! i can not express how phenomenal this album is! it has been on repeat since 11 something this morning...

my only advice: buy the deluxe version. if you don't, you are short-changing yourself... that's real talk!!!
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on December 14, 2011
I just love this cd. It was a long time coming but hey Anthony I'm not mad atcha. It was more than worth the wait. It is perfection. Not only do I love your voice and the message you bring, I felt every note played by your ensemble. The whole production was amazing and something we do not get enough of these days. Everybody is singing bout sex and bling. Who needs it? This is keeping it real, as they say. It speaks to grown folks. Thank you A.H. this CD is my Christmas present to me. Everybody reading this get you one too.
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on December 13, 2011
Sam Cooke. Marvin Gaye. Al Green. Luther Vandross.

Anthony Hamilton has entered this Hall of Greats (and I know I'm leaving a lot of great soul singers out). His new CD "Back To Love" just continues the greatness that his previous three CD's have shown the world. Everything he sings about, you feel down deep into your soul. From the new single "Woo," to the pensive "Life Has A Way," Anthony covers many moods and emotions.

I would hope that this terrific singer and musician could have the same kind of breakout that Adele has enjoyed this year. But, like a lot of music, he's probably too good to get songs on the radio. And that's a shame...everyone should hear this man sing these songs that he and his collaborators have created.

I don't recommend a whole lot of music on Amazon, but anyone who reads this needs to hear the samples and buy this music. Especially treat yourself to the Deluxe Edition with four extra songs.
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on March 6, 2012
Where do I start to describe Anthony Hamilton's "Back To Love" CD?

Well, I am a lover of lyrics and soulful sounds; and, this man (here) lays it all down with lyrics that describe us men's everyday pursuit of that perfect woman (and relationship).

"Back To Love" is not only the title of the album but the first track to start the mood that allows us to see falling in love again.

"Writing On The Wall" describes gossip about your woman who is doing you wrong but she has you so mesmerized that you do not wish to hear the rumors (or the truth).

"Woo" gives the details of you being compelled by a temptress.

I can go on and on, but I should allow you to come to your own understanding of Anthony Hamilton's album of strong instrumental intros, powerful delivered lyrics and just a soulful aura.
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on May 5, 2013
Anthony Hamilton is one of my favorite male vocalists - I love the grit & soul of his voice. With all of the label drama that he's endured, it's a wonder he hasn't quit the business and for that fans of his music are eternally grateful. This album is damn near as close to perfection as any I've heard recently - I don't skip over any of the songs. The lyrics are heartfelt from a man's perspective without the childish "swag boy" lyrics other r&b males' albums are littered with and Anthony hasn't compromised his artistry by straddling a line between pop/dance tracks and r&b tracks - this is a straight up, magnificent soul/r&b album sung by another criminally underrated artist in today's music scene.

I truly enjoy the entire album but my favorite tracks are:

I'LL WAIT FOR LOVE
WOO
SUCKA FOR LOVE
I'M READY
PRAY FOR ME
LIFE HAS A WAY
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Consistency in popular music, regardless of genre, can be extremely hard to find sometimes. So many artists, particularly `seasoned' artists release albums that fail to match-up well with their most revered or acclaimed works. Even the best artists oft-times have a weaker moment. With Anthony Hamilton, this stat has never been the case. Five studio albums in (excluding lost albums/unreleased efforts), Hamilton is as consistent as ever, proving to be one of few R&B artists who manage to deliver `the goods' each and every album. Back To Love (Deluxe Version) is another fine addition to Hamilton's rich discography that includes 2003's masterpiece Comin' From Where I'm From, 2005's soul-stirring Ain't Nobody Worryin', and 2008's Grammy-nominated The Point Of It All. The production is classic, the songwriting exemplifying excellence, and Hamilton's performances laced with soulful authenticity.

"Back to Love," the title track, opens the effort capably with nothing short of retro-soul production work. Neo-soul producer Salaam Remi delivers a `home-run' with the well crafted production, consisting of horns, soulfully harmonized background vocals (Hamilton's), and classic soul drums. The flute used here reminds one of the sound achieved by late soul singer Teddy Pendergrass on "Close the Door," given of a Philly Soul nod (Huff, Gamble). Follow-up cut "Writing on the Wall" continues the soulful masterclass with exceptional production by Mike City. The production retains its soulfulness, but also is hip enough for the `younger' crowd. The groove is infectious, established by drums, drum programming, and electric guitar. The swirls of organ coupled with horns help to lift "Writing on the Wall" to the next level. And how could we underwrite Hamilton's soulful, gritty vocals and his songwriting contributions? One truly feels that with this effort, society is going `back to love.'

"Woo," the first single is nothing short of genius. With Babyface and Antonio Dixon producing, "Woo" is the perfect blend of neo-soul and adult contemporary R&B. The chorus is simple, yet addictive without being `gimmicky' like most modern day R&B/hip-hop: "Woo/ooh girl you so bad/woo/but it feels so good/wood/I ain't never seen a girl so bad..." Hamilton truly sells this cut given his histrionics and untouchable soul-stirring grit; the bridge sounds like the `breakdown' section of a gospel song at church. "Pray For Me" amps up the spiritual factor after a very solemn, almost religious opening. Babyface and Antonio Dixon hang around to deliver another well crafted production, this one more in the adult-contemporary vein - Babyface's `bread and butter' for sure. Following the second verse, Hamilton ascends into his upper register, almost as if he is lifting his petition to the heavens. Need a good slow jam? This is your match.

"Best of Me" finds Hamilton accelerating the tempo, which is a smart move. Less stellar than the first four cuts, "Best of Me" is by no means `filler.' "Never Let Go" pairs Hamilton with what should be an odd match in singer/songwriter Keri Hilson. While it may look odd on paper, the contemporary cut works extremely well. The production is somewhat of a compromise of what usually supports Hamilton, but it is not `too far' a stretch. Keri delivers some compelling vocals to match her partner her, showing off more range than either of her solo albums have shown. "Mad" trumps the excellent duet, with its hard hitting drum programming and its overt, souther-country soul sound - Solomon Burke would be proud. Hamilton's vocals are incredibly feisty and the organ only complements and agitates the soul singer even more. The horns are a huge highlight. If you were to compare "Mad" to a previous Hamilton cut, it would be "Praying for You/Superman." "I'll Wait (To Fall In Love)" shows no slackening of momentum for Hamilton, finding the singer keeping soul-stirring vocals and swirling organ in his back pocket.

Kelvin Wooten takes over production duties for solid showings on cuts "Sucka for You" and "Baby Girl." As always, Hamilton more than excels, even if these cuts don't trump loaded ones such as "Woo" or "Mad." Penultimate cut "Who's Loving You" has a nice 6/8 feel about it and delivers a notable refrain: "Hey there, I'm missing you crazy/I've been thinking...wondering who's loving you..." Songwriting remains strong on the penultimate and excellent closing cut, "Life Has A Way." "Life Has A Way" ends the effort as solidly as it began, honing in on soul and emotional delivery. The Deluxe Edition delivers additional cuts "Broken Man" (produced by Andre Harris), "I'm Ready" and "Fair in Love" (produced by The Lion's Share). These cuts are definitely worthwhile listens, particularly for the Hamilton devoted fan.

Overall, there is nothing or very little to quibble about on Back To Love (Deluxe Version). It may be 2011's most underrated R&B effort. A better description is that it is arguably the year's very best R&B effort.
Highly recommended for those who crave soul music and neo-/retro- soul.
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on January 5, 2015
Some of Anthony Hamilton's best work.

I love Anthony Hamilton's voice and depth of feeling he puts into all his music. For such a short person, he sings like a talented 6'5" person.

This CD contains NO bad cuts. I listen to it over and over. Still gives me great pleasure. The versatility of the songs, the other artists who contributed to CD, the musical instruments heard, the arrangements of the songs are splendid.

I feel the same about the Soulife CD.

Excellent, excellent, excellent. Riding in my car or jamming at home-both CDs are top choices for me.
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on December 26, 2011
Anthony Hamilton continues to bring an old school vibe with a new school twist. That being said, this is not a retread of old material. "Woo" enticed me to take a closer look at this new offering. The title song "Back to Love" convinced me that this is one that I wanted to add to my collection. He conveys so much raw emotion in each song. Whether pleading with his woman not to leave or flirting with a woman that he wishes to make his own, Anthony Hamilton hits the right note. You can't go wrong purchasing this one. It is a shame that such a gifted artist is so under appreciated.
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