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Stone Rollin'

4.4 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and record producer Raphael Saadiq is back with his fifth studio album Stone Rollin . Featuring ten new tracks, Stone Rollin is the follow up to Saadiq s 2008 solo album The Way I See It, which boasted four Billboard R&B chart singles and was nominated for three GRAMMY Awards including Best R&B Album. With Stone Rollin , Saadiq nods to his heroes like Chuck Berry, Stevie Wonder, Little Walter and Sly Stone, while merging his own contemporary twist, one born out of a combination of his recent touring experiences, as well as inspiration derived from indie acts that hold regular rotation in his ipod. The end result is a collection that showcases Saadiq s gifted musicality and the stellar production skills that have become the artist s signature.

Recorded at his studio complex the Blakeslee Recording Company in Los Angeles, Raphael Saadiq played bass, mellotron, keys, guitar, percussion and even drums on most of the tracks. Opening with the stomping Heart Attack, the album s other standout cuts include the stunning Go To Hell, featuring his studio squad of musicians who are melodically complimented by an angelic choir, the evocative Dixieland number Day Dreams, featuring Robert Randolph who plays steel guitar on the track, and Just Don t, which includes a guest appearance from one of Saadiq s indie rock favorites Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano (Little Dragon). Also making an appearance on that same song is one of Saadiq s idols Larry Dunn (Earth, Wind and Fire), who plays piano and contributes an epic Moog solo.
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Digital Booklet: Stone Rollin'
Digital Booklet: Stone Rollin'
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: May 10, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 42 minutes
  • ASIN: B004LFO0HE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,592 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Raphael Saadiq fell in love with that Philly/Memphis/Motown sound on his last album "The Way I See It", and that love continues on his new album "Stone Rollin'".

Like its predecessor, the songs sound like covers of classics but are in fact new compositions with most of the vocals and instrumentation (guitar, keyboard, bass, Mellotron, and percussion) handled by the man himself, with Saadiq crooning, yelping or moving to falsetto as the mood demands.

Opening is the tambourine-laced thumping Soul/Rock "Heart Attack", while the bouncy Blues/Rock "Radio" recalls Little Walter. The titletrack is a midtempo harmonica-laced number, "Day Dreams" is Rockabilly, while the beautiful and breezy "Movin' Down The Line" recalls Marvin Gaye. "Just Don't" features Yukimi Nakano and could have fallen out of Stevie Wonder's seventies song book.

My favourites are the gentle "Good Man" which successfully straddles vintage and modern (and on which he laments his lover leaving during rough times despite his holding two jobs to provide for her), the lush moody "The Answer" (with light martial beats,ovely guitar and delicate horns), and the groovy hidden track "The Perfect Storm" which is so D'angelo.

There isn't a single mis-step on this delightful album. He makes cool seem effortless!
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Format: Audio CD
For me this is the very best soul album of the last two years (since Maxwell's BLACKsummer's night)! It is also the very best album that Raphael Saadiq has ever released! I don't quite understand the comments of reviewers stating that he is stuck in the 60's. This album has clearly been influenced by the past, but takes a modern approach with a timeless sound. I have never heard anything quite like "Heart Attack", "Go To Hell", or "Over You," which has a very surprising indie rock sound! Raphael infuses a lot more of his own personality in these songs than he did on his last album "The Way I See It." The song writing is especially fantastic, and I'd argue that "Go To Hell," has the best lyrics of Raphael's career, with some of the most poetic lyrics of any contemporary soul song I've heard. "Over You," and "Just Don't" are also great with unique twists on their titles. Even the production and instrumentation on the majority of tracks have a fuller, more vivid quality. I can't listen to this album without dancing in my seat, and I absolutely love every song on the album. One of my favourites is the hidden track "The Perfect Storm", which nearly sounds like a lost D'Angelo song, but is moreso "Instant Vintage" Raphael Saadiq.
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Format: Audio CD
Rollin' through black music history with the ease of a master, he switches between genre interpretations from track to track. There are Sly Stone grooves, Philly soul, rockabilly, Rhythm & especially Blues, an upbeat Ray Charles routine, Motown referencing "Happy Together", Marvin Gaye laments and a jazzy Southern marching band to carry us home. That said, this has a modern, edgy sound, cleaning off all sleepiness, played tight and mean. Saadiq has no time for middlebrow revivals. He pursues the heart and social significance of the classics and in doing so produces one himself.
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Format: MP3 Music
With electronica and acid rock ruling the music world lately, I decided that I wanted something different. I had read reviews for this album and decided to give it a spin, with no expectations, no particular love for soul, and without any real clue as to who Raphael Saadiq actually is.

And I haven't looked back.

This is a wonderful album of soul, R&B, and pop that really thrusts you back in time. The warmth Saadiq's analog-sounding grooves evoke makes other music sound chilly and hollow in comparison. It sounds silly, but in making this sort of throwback music and infusing it with his own personal strengths and sensibilities as a songwriter, Rafael Saadiq is actually more progressive than anything else... a music maverick in the most wonderful sense.

I can't recommend this enough. Now, off to discover some of his other stuff!
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Format: Audio CD
Listeners who think Raphael Saadiq is stuck in the 1960's are really missing the point; while "Stone Rollin'" uses the late 60's and early 70's as a jumping off point, this LP actually expands the possibilities of modern rock and soul. Most of these tracks are guitar based and each have a surging momentum and "garage band" immediacy that gives the music a more organic feel. To point out highlights or favorites on this record would do it a disservice, EVERYTHING here works and the 10 tracks flow together beautifully. A modern masterwork.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
What a great album he has put out this go around. He is progressing in his lyrics and musicianship from each release. He understands his roots and the roots of the great American tradition. He also has good marketing people behind him and understands the market is eating tunes like this up right now. That isn't a bad thing he cam make some wonderfully beautiful music and make some coin as well. Keep up the good work!
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Format: Audio CD
On his second `vintage' outing Stone Rollin', Raphael Saadiq amps up the retro-soul vibe to the nth degree. Responsible for the majority of the songwriting and production, Stone Rollin' could have been released in the 1960s and not missed a beat. That said, the retro sound cultivated on Stone Rollin', Saadiq's fourth studio effort (excluding live set All Hits at the House of Blues) sounds incredibly unique and exceptional in 2011. Retro is back and Saadiq articulate and accentuates it extremely well. Stone Rollin' should no doubt be a front runner for Best R&B album at the 2012 Grammys given the authenticity exuded here. Commercial it may not be, unfortunately, but artistically, Saadiq makes a huge statement with such a vintage effort. And did we mention that Saadiq hones in on his multi-instrumental talents; he plays drums, bass, guitar, and mellotron (think The Beatles)!

"Heart Attack" opens the album exceptionally with a superb tambourine-driven groove. From the opening seconds, one hears the influence of the 1960's, capped off by the soulful-vocal production on Saadiq's lead vocals. A big bass line buttresses the production. The songwriting is spot-on, particularly on the refrain: "You givin' me a heart attack, girl, I want you back/I just can't stand it no more..." "Go To Hell" may be the album's best number, intact with live instrumentation (strings and horns). The songwriting is superb and Saadiq escapes the standard verse/chorus format by changing the lyrics on each `hook': "I need to feel this water falling down over me/falling down over me...
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