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Self Portrait

4.6 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 3, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Critically acclaimed vocalist and song stylist Lalah Hathaway continues her musical legacy with her Stax Records 2008 debut Self portrait, a contemporary urban soul collection that takes one on an introspective journey into the contemporary adult R&B world. Self Portrait will truly satisfy Lalah's core fans,and is so refreshing that it will guarantee her new fans as well! The album features special guests Marcus Miller, Joe Sample and Rahsaan Patterson. Lalah is the daughter of the famed Soul artist Donny Hathaway and she has sold nearly half a million CDs in her career. This project reunites Lalah with noted producer Rex Rideout, who also produced her recent #1 single "Forever, for always, for love". "Lalah continues to fortify her legacy as a modern day vocal priestess. This album is her most personal, laden with severe emotional voodoo and sublime passion.'- Garth Trinidiad, host of KCRW's "Chocolate City".
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Video: Let Go (Closed-Captioned, Audio Edit)
Video: Let Go (Closed-Captioned, Audio Edit)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stax Records
  • ASIN: B0013FCW0M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,600 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Lalah Hathaway breathes fresh air into the regenerated Stax label with what is possibly her best album to date. It's definitely my favourite already. If you're anything like me, and you wonder where all the good music has gone, aghast at the ever-increasing paucity of deep meaningful soul and the ever-increasing dominance of superficial, gimmicky R&B, then this CD might reassure you. Lalah's lineage is not only clear in her warm vocal tone, style and phrasing but also in the kind of music she chooses to make. Donny would undoubtedly be proud.

Hathaway writes a great deal of the album herself (with co-writing credits mainly going to her producers) and Rex Rideout, who had critical success last year with Ledisi's Lost & Found, takes care of the majority of the production work. He and Hathway had worked together before but not to this extent. Hathaway herself takes up the rest of the production with help from Kenneth Crouch, Terrace Martin, Paula Gallitano and Manuel Hugas & Wiboud Burkens.

The album kicks off with the obviously radio-intended "let go", co-written and featuring vocals by my man Rahsaan Patterson and while a pleasant enough mid-tempo head-nodder (though personally I could have done without the vocoder), the song only hints at the magic to be found within the album. My personal favourites include the smooth jazz-influenced ballads "on your own", "for always", "that was then", "learning to swim" (which features fretless bass by Marcus Miller, no less), "little girl", (which actually contains the spoken voice of the great man himself; an interview excerpt from the album
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Format: Audio CD
While Lalah has indeed evolved into her own as an artist, obvious and unavoidable comparisons to her famous dad are inevitable, especially by those of us intimately aware of his treasure trove of work....the timbres of their voices are oh so similar and in many cases are a painful reminder of the awesome talent that was Donny Hathaway, who left us entirely too early. Nonetheless, this is indeed a mature set allowing Lalah to show off her simply woooooooonderful vocal skills/acuity. Thankfully, it is not a cheap attempt to grab a hip-hop/now audience, thus trashing a beautiful instrument...it is appropriately marketed to grown folks. Nice, smooth, arrangements make Lalah's latest project refreshing and satisfying. ("Breathe' is definitely a highlight)

Hiiiiiiighly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
One of the most outstanding things about Lalah Hathaway, is her ability to transit a melody to a destination that's by far exciting and unique!

Her phraseology is incomparable and her delivery is spell bounding...when it comes to carrying a tune, she owns it once she's placed her stamp on it!

Her level of musicianship is beyond measure!

and deserves much attention.

I only anticipate as everyone one else her upcoming offering!

It is sure to be nothing short of amazement and wonder...
But don't just take it from me, see for yourself and get the record!

D. Patterson
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'll admit the first time I got a Lalah project it was because she had that NAME. I realize now she made me feel connected to something I lost. Just listened to what I thought I needed. Time passes and now I "hear her divine" speaking through her. On "Self Portrait" Lalah is emerging with a voice so clear and loud you will not miss her. She's says it's nature and nurture. OK I say I finally found what I really needed and like she says "That Was Then, This is Now". Universe we better recognize!!!!
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Format: MP3 Music
Length: 2:14 Mins
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Format: Audio CD
I'm speechless. I've listened to Self Portrait all day. I'm still blasting "Breathe" as I write from my home office...windows open...I know the cops may come soon. LOL

Beautiful...I am an OLD young (33 year old) Lalah fan. I've been listening from highschool...and she is just amazing. "Self Portrait" is very introspective. I would also recommend not driving...this IS THINKING MUSIC. "On Your Own" is a great song to have when going through a breakup. I felt really strong after listening to it. Like its gonna be ok. Im gonna be ok. When songs make you change your mind about life...THATS DEEP.

NO ONE WRITES MUSIC LIKE THIS...EVERY SONG..empowering, requires inwardness, its a smart person's CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Can't really say much, since everything I wanted to say about this album has already been said! This music is for those who have a great appreciation for REAL soul music. Her vocals are very reminiscent of her late father, the great Donny Hathaway.

Lalah really brought some gems to this album! This is one of those albums you can actually listen to from front to back. It really puts you in the mind of deep relaxation and serenity, like you have no care in the world!

I highly recommend this album and implore you to add it to your music collection!
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Format: Audio CD
I've perused some of the reviews here and, not that it matters to me, its just amazing how some folks negatively perceive something so completely different from the obvious consensus. Don't get it twisted, yes: everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But statements like, "a bit too hip-hopish", "Lalah now sounds like everybody else", "few of the songs hold up", "sounds like it was recorded 7 or 8 years ago" proves not only that you can't please everyone, but that some folks JUST DON'T GET IT!, DON'T HAVE A CLUE or perhaps they are just TONE DEAF or HEARING IMPAIRED (not to insult the hearing impaired in any way).

The truth is that this has got to be the best work of any artist this year!! And yet, since she ain't a Mary J Blige or Biancé the shallow pop music industry will likely not recognize her work. But, this is Lalah at her best and then some. Every track is inviting. Initially I only liked tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 & then 2 & 10 grabbed me too. I admit I was not as moved by tracks 5 & 6 but 5 has now grown on me too. Hey, when you get a CD that has more than 3 or 4 great songs, that's sayin' somethin! In this case, almost every track is a veritable masterpiece.

Someone here compared her to Angie Stone. In my opinion its the other way around - Lalah is the standard to which others of her era should be compared. Her performance, as always, is flawless & the music compliments & provides the perfect back-dropped balance and contrast against her beautiful alto timbre. Some of the tracks do have a non-hardcore hip-hop sound while others are in the neo-soul vein while still others have that classic r&b sound and in either case it sounds good on her.
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Lalah's "Self Portrait" is a Masterpiece!!!
@cjd you said it! Not much more to add. You know Lalah Hathaway's music is part of a movement to keep soul music alive! I must admit I've been around long enough to have seen her father perform and to hear and see Lalah as well. Her mother being a musician herself left Lalah and her sister... Read More
Jun 2, 2008 by Amazon Customer |  See all 5 posts
Got Love For Lalah?!
totally feeling that. i've loved her music since her debut cd. Heaven Only Knows one listen to that and it was a wrap. I'll be preordering her new cd sometime today. Lalah is gifted beyond words.
Apr 27, 2008 by Derrick Jenkins |  See all 13 posts
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