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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing.
The ONE TIME TiVo lets me down. It failed to record Letterman last night for some reason. Good thing my insomnia kicked in and I stayed up and watched it anyway. This guy was INCREDIBLE. I have a fascination with amazing acoustic guitar playing and this was AMAZING. I would most describe it to be like a flamenco style. Incredible guitar talent. And the vocal trumpet...
Published on June 29, 2005 by K. Smith

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars it's ok
I saw him @ Letterman show and i thought the song he promoted was great, the rest of the songs are ok but not so great to buy the whole album.
Published 21 months ago by juandiego salazar


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing., June 29, 2005
By 
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
The ONE TIME TiVo lets me down. It failed to record Letterman last night for some reason. Good thing my insomnia kicked in and I stayed up and watched it anyway. This guy was INCREDIBLE. I have a fascination with amazing acoustic guitar playing and this was AMAZING. I would most describe it to be like a flamenco style. Incredible guitar talent. And the vocal trumpet thing? Awesome. When he played that guitar solo along with his "trumpet" solo it took me a second to figure out what was going on it was so seamless.

I had no idea the guy was actually BLIND until I started looking up everything I could find on the guy that was on the internet. I can't remember the last time seeing a musician perform on TV has had such an effect on me. First thing this morning I got up and went all over town hoping someone would have his CD (of course... nobody did). I gave up on the search for a little while, but just could not stop thinking about it. I eventually tracked down a copy (although it took a longer than I wanted - Borders calls it "R&B"... which I guess it could be, but it seems unfair to classify his music into such a 'neat' category).

One of my favorite songs so far is the second track, "If You're Gonna Leave," but they're all really solid songs. I don't want to do a play-by-play of the entire CD, but just know that the CD is pretty incredible. If you liked what you have seen on Letterman/Leno/etc. or heard on NPR, you're going to love this CD.

----------------------

I just came back on after having this CD for about two months because I wanted to give an update of sorts after having listened to this CD quite a bit. Honestly, I just enjoy the CD more and more each time I listen to it. I talk up Raul Midon's music pretty much any opportunity that I get, and I really hope that he becomes very successful. We need more musicians like him in the world... it just makes the world a better place to live :)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST, SONGS!!! Expressions of Love! Mystery Girl!, June 29, 2005
By 
Peter Lavezzoli (Ft. Lauderdale, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
Of course I was anxiously awaiting the Letterman show, and Raul was as stunning as I expected! But folks, the song that he played, State of Mind, is only the tip of the iceberg. But first off, before I get to the artistry of Midon himself, let me praise this disc as an outstanding RECORDING. The production is perfectly understated but not bland, the placement order of the songs is very convincing, and the sound of Raul's voice and guitar comes through impeccably, so hats off to the great Arif Mardin for his production expertise. This recording succeeds on every level.

I've been seeing Raul for a few years now, and let me give some background. A native of New Mexico, blind from birth, Midon rose to the top of the jazz program at University of Miami, one of the most competitive programs in the world. I first saw Raul when he was still living and playing in Miami, and in those days he mixed his own unique R&B material with a healthy dose of serious jazz. This may not be apparent from this new CD, but let me say that Midon is one of the hottest acoustic guitarists in JAZZ...he would often sing a scat vocal of GIANT STEPS by Coltrane while ripping on the guitar at a level of virtuosity that is simply astonishing. He plays in the classical and flamenco style, and the jazz people at the University of Miami nicknamed him "Segovia." He also played as a member of Colombian singer Shakira's band on the road for some time, and he is a master of Afro-Latin rhythms, a formidable percussionist in his own right. He finally realized that NYC is the place for a musician of his calibre, and after moving there, he has astounded everyone.

So...we have a jazz and Latin music virtuoso who also happens to be one of the most soulful vocalists and songwriters out there. Raul Midon is a musician's musician, but he's also the non-musician's musician, with some of the best LOVE BALLADS you'll ever hear. Lyrically, he is nothing less than a Ray Of Sunshine, a true Brother Of The Light, bringing positivity, love, and light into this world. As a composer, he knows how to give each song its own unique twist. Although his writing is crafted in the R&B tradition of Stevie Wonder (who appears on this album) and Curtis Mayfield, he finds little ways to inject his jazz chops on the guitar: brief flashes of virtuosity (check the solo on Mystery Girl) and unusual chord progressions in the Steely Dan vein. Midon has had a full band in the past, but recently he has preferred to play as a solo acoustic artist. This CD is in that vein, and is well produced by Arif Mardin, who obviously understood that Midon would shine the brightest in an intimate acoustic setting.

Every track here is outstanding, but if I had to pick highlights, pay special attention to the closing track, All In Your Mind (a stunning look at life through the eyes of a blind person), or the song with Stevie Wonder's harmonica solo, which is Expressions of Love! Never mind Stevie, he's great on this, but the song itself is SO worthy of our attention...a song of hope and rebirth for those of us who have suffered in love. I've cried over this song, and that is a blessing. And the real classic LOVE BALLAD is the funky, soulful Mystery Girl...this is the one song that will knock you out completely. But again, every song is a gem. This is a formidable debut. I've been waiting for this CD for years, and even though I'm a longtime Midon fan, this disc has still exceeded my expectations. I'm going to have a hard time removing it from my player. The tasteful production and high quality of material stand up to repeated listenings. This is what real music sounds like. When music can bring tears and joy, you know it's real. And it's real Raul. We are all very fortunate that he has arrived, because I promise you that he is going to take us to some very beautiful places in the future where we need to go.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, amazing, amazing, June 29, 2005
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
Amazing, amazing, amazing. Raul Midon is truly a musical genius. Words cannot describe how mind-blowingly, unbelievably talented this man is. He is simply phenomenal.

My husband and I saw Raul perform live at the Miami Beach Jazz Festival early this month (June 2005), where he was the opening act for a double concert by Chris Botti and Norman Brown. When he started playing, the audience was so transfixed by him that everyone was silent. Between songs, you could hear people whispering, "Who is this guy?!? My God, he's AMAZING!" The crowd honestly went nuts over him, clapping and wooing louder and louder at the conclusion of each song played. It was an amazing experience.

I bought his album the day it was released and was thrilled to once again hear the songs that he performed live in concert, including "Sunshine". It's been a long time since I've seen an artist that exudes this level of talent, which for me is very exiciting. Raul's fusion of jazz, pop, R&B, and Flamenco-style music is fresh and original. His lyrics are inspiring and meaningful. On top of that, he's been BLIND SINCE BIRTH, which will make your jaw drop even further once you hear him.

When Raul plays, it sounds like multiple instruments are playing, including drums and trumpet. He is able to play a guitar and keep a steady drum beat at the same time by using the base of his acoustic guitar as a drum. He also vocalizes the same sound a trumpet makes by blowing air out of his tightly pursed lips. If you had your eyes closed, you would NEVER KNOW that it wasn't someone actually playing a trumpet. This man is incredibly gifted and is truly blessed with a God-given talent.

Buy this album. You won't be disappointed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raul Midon CAN Save Pop Music!!!, June 8, 2005
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of this man's work for almost a year now, after being encouraged to check out his archived Kennedy Center performance from 2003 (see link below). I have seen many talented musicians and songwriters who have impressed me over the years. However, it is with deep sincerity and earnestness that I can say that Raul Midon is easily the most talented singer/songwriter/musician I have witnessed in at least 10 years or more. He is without question a future legend of music; to hear and see him at this stage of his career is to observe the most significant turning point in the history of popular music since the discovery of Prince. His CD, 'State of Mind', goes a long way to drive that point home.

The album is an absolute gem from start to finish, showcasing Raul's soulful vocals, innovative guitar work, gorgeous melodies, and optimistic lyricism. Special appearances by the legendary Stevie Wonder on the beautiful ballad "Expressions of Love" and pop newcomer Jason Mraz on "Keep On Hoping" only accentuate the songs. But their prescence on the album does not overshadow its star, whose rich, wide-ranging vocals and melodic songwriting call to mind a young Wonder without degenerating into mimicry. His acoustic guitar playing is also a focal point - bustling and shuffling on the title track and the flamenco-meets-soul "Never Get Enough", then brushing against a gentle phrase on quiet ballads like the enchanting "Mystery Girl". Other highlights include the tender epiphany "Suddenly" and Midon's triumphant tribute to soul legend Donny Hathaway, "Sittin' In the Middle". On "All In Your Mind", the subtly moving closing track, Midon (who has been blind since birth) provides a glimpse into a visually impaired person's perception of a world he views not with his eyes but with only his imagination. "Through my eyes you can see the world / Well you might be surprised what you'll find / A cool wind and a warm touch / And a moment that is all in your mind." Midon is also willing and unafraid to stretch himself musically. His bohemian excursion, "I Would Do Anything" featuring flautist Dave Valentine and Midon himself on congas, is a worthy experiment and tribute to Midon's Latin and African roots.

There are simply too many highlights to list them all here. In short, this album is the essential and profound first step into the beatufully blossoming musical life of this future music icon. Raul Midon will soon be discovered by the world, which makes it even more imperative that you pick this disc up now. After all, who doesn't like to be able to say they were there when it all started?

(...)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raul Midon is the real deal!, June 8, 2005
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
In an era of artists that consistently fail meet expectations and record labels that continue to push them on an increasingly saturated market, Raul Midon stands out as a true musician, composer, performer, and artist.

State of Mind is a comprehensive work. Arif and Joe Mardin did a superb job producing the record - it is continuous and flows well from beginning to end. Midon's music is genuine and of the highest quality.

For anyone searching for a true, genuine, musician's musician with the talent to reach out to any listener, Raul Midon's State of Mind is a record that no one should be without.

As a sidebar, I've seen Midon live on several occasions, and his raw talent is spectacular - if you have the opportunity, go see him!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, June 29, 2005
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
I too have just watched his perfomance on the Letterman Show, and in the 6 or 7 years that I have been watching it, I dont remember sitting up from my bed in pure disbelief of what was going on. I was just sitting there, thinking: "this cant get any better", and then the "trumpet" solo started. Thank god my DVR got it all, so I can endure the couple of days before this CD gets here :-)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music at its best!, November 17, 2005
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
I never write reviews because who needs another critic? I had to jump in to the fray and give my opinion on this stellar c.d. I've been a fan for years and it is so EXCELLENT to see this singer, songwriter guitarist get the breaks he deserves. Forget that he's blind, but he's a driven, skilled and talented human. The creative stuff he does with the guitar alone is worth the price of the c.d. The guitar sounds captured by the engineer and producer of this record are superb, warm, resonant and big. Knowing that Raul is playing all the songs almost solely on his guitar with just touches of other instruments or vocals is classic R&B. My favorite song besides the ripping "State of Mind" is another one of the grooving up tempo tracks "Sunshine." If you know anything about Raul he also collaborated with DJ Little Louie Vega and you should check out their work on the "Elements of Life" c.d. Then there's "Never Get Enough" - I love the exotic touches of Flamenco there. "Suddenly" is a classic, sparse ballad. "Waited All My Life" is an anthem for love - guys get this and dedicate that song to your significant other and you will be an instant classic too! Of course the tribute to Donny Hathaway is so cool and unique sounding - it's a great track! And for you young kids - "Keep On Hoping" with the very talented Jason Mraz! This record is a great party record - it has something for everyone and reflects Midon's love of all things musical - there's everything but opera on here and I highly recommend it. And of course don't settle for seeing him on t.v. - see him live in concert and you will be even more blown away!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soulful & Inspiring, June 14, 2005
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
Just when you think it can't be done, an artist comes along with a debut album that blows you away.

I can say one hundred times how amazing Raul Midon is, but you won't understand until you hear him. I can tell you that is songs are on the level of Stevie Wonder's best, and that his guitar playing is brilliant, but you won't get it until you hear him. I can gush superlatives about his jazzy Donny Hathaway inspired voice and vocal "horn" technique. You'll say, "Yeah, I'm sure he's great." Trust me, you don't get it.

Raul Midon's debut CD is packed with groove, melody, emotion and hope. I have been moved to tears by the ballads and to dance by the title track.

"State Of Mind" was produced so tastefully by Arif and Joe Mardin that is does not overshadow the artist that usually plays solo. Some sweet background vocals and percussion just accent the already beautiful songs.

I have turned many folks on to this man. Every single time someone hears him after I nag them about going to see him or listening to his music, they admit that they were blown away. All of them have bought this CD and are on the search for his previous work.

If you can go see him live, do it. Until then, his CD can only whet your appetite for more of his music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When was the last time you were truly moved?, June 12, 2005
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
The first time that I saw Raul Midon, I had never heard of him. He instantly wowed the audience with his style. I had never before seen such a captivated audience. Whispers of "who is this guy" were all around us. When his performance was over, the amphitheatre emptied as people sought out his CD as well as his autograph. From that day, we have been true and devoted fans. We constantly make friends and family stop to listen to his music. We recently took a good friend to a show in San Francisco where she was moved to tears. It was a moment that was sincere and touching. Anticipating his album was exciting and this album does not disappoint. It's not just for the music lover, but for anyone and everyone who lives life to the fullest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STEVE WONDER JR., June 28, 2005
This review is from: State of Mind (Audio CD)
I JUST SAW THIS GUY ON THE DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW (JUNE 27, 2005). I'VE BEEN WATCHING HIS SHOW SINCE 1982. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE MOVED BY A PERFORMER IN THE 46 YEARS THAT I'VE BEEN LIVING ON PLANET EARTH THAN WHEN I SAW RAUL MIDON SING & PLAY GUITAR ON THE SONG: "STATE OF MIND". I IMMEDIATELY WENT TO AMAZON.COM TO ORDER THE CD (OF THE SAME NAME). I PREDICT THAT THIS GUY WILL BE BIGGER THAN STEVE WONDER AT HIS PEAK ONE DAY. BUT UNTIL THAT DAY, I WILL SUPPORT A PERFORMER WHO I KNOW IS A COMPLETE & TOTAL GENIUS. GOD BLESS THIS GUY & ALL HIS TALENT (WHICH IS REALLY BEYOND CATEGORY). I WISH I COULD GIVE HIM A MILLION STARS, WHICH WILL STILL NOT BE ENOUGH.
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State of Mind
State of Mind by Raul Midon (Audio CD - 2005)
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