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What do you get when you mix street corner doo-wop with a touch of Bill Withers’ melancholy romance and sprinkle in some of The Five Heartbeats harmony? Well, Raphael Saadiq’s new album, of course. A small group of supporters, journalists and industry folk gathered at the Sony Club in NYC to preview the vintage 1960s soul album. The feel-good, throwback music seems to emanate from Saadiq’s own humble, mellow spirit. Prepped out in his highwaters and cabbie hat and surrounded by friends, some luminaries in their own right (Nelson George, Q-Tip, Pharoahe Monch and Nile Rodgers), Saadiq entertained questions in the intimate setting and proceeded to mingle with everyone throughout the evening.

monchandtip.jpgOozing with lush arrangements, the guests swayed romantically at times, then twisted from side-to-side as if at some sock hop the next. But this was no accident. He recorded on vintage guitars, drum kits (all of which he played himself, according to one Columbia Records employee) and mics to properly capture the feeling of the era. You couldn’t help but feel like you had snuck into the den during one of your parents’ ‘grown-ups only’ parties, all that was missing were some elk antlers hanging on the wood panels. Saadiq so perfectly captured the Motown sound that people were tentative to question the distinctive harmonica from a song halfway through the album.

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“Was that Stevie I heard on harmonica?” one guest asked.

 Indeed it was. The collective giddiness was hard to hide and even Saadiq was still floored by the collaboration.

 “I’m still not used to having Stevie as a friend.”

After 20-year old singer C.J., who is one of the few guests to appear on the album, brought Saadiq the track, he threw an introduction for Mr. Wonder’s harmonica solo on his verse, though Saadiq wasn’t even sure they’d be able to get him on the phone. Thankfully for us, things worked out and the combination of these old souls is magical.


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Though the tracklisting and song titles are all still in flux, Saadiq’s personal favs are “Sometimes” and “Ol’ Girl” because of the way he said, “People get loose on that one.” “Sometimes” holds a special place to him because of the line he sings, “Now I know what they meant by ‘keep your head to the sky.’” Growing up in a tough Oakland neighborhood, he had to keep his head off the things around him and instead immersed himself in Earth, Wind & Fire and the music of James Jamerson, who Saadiq credits with inspiring the sound of the bass on his album. With his head to the past, it sounds like Saadiq is about to drop another inspiring album of his own.

- Candace L.

Comments

  • Smee

    When does his album drop?

  • amp-peezy

    a release date would be great. if anyone can pull off that sound now, its saadiq

  • Danny Boy!

    i been waiting for this album for a long time man!!

  • Greyeyedbandit@gmail.com

    I need to know when its coming!!!!!!

  • this is going to be the best album of the year…

    i can feel it. he’s the best of the fresh coast, or any coast for that matter. i’m still bumping instant vintage and as ray ray. i’m fucking 31 and i’m giddy over this shit! lol.

  • Achilles

    Can’t Wait for the album man. It’s been a long time. Still waitin’!

  • Brothercool72

    Its been a long time

    just let us know when the CD drop

  • Brittneylove

    I can’t wait. This Album is going to be a grammy award winner.

  • Lati

    Raphael is going to take us to a higher level all over again! Lawd have mercy!

  • A-1! the Myth

    I just can’t wait to hear someone take music back to another era. It’s going to blow this other stuff out of the water. Raphael Saadiq is simply one of (if not) the greatest musicians to ever perfect this art we call music. Pure Genius. Thank you Saadiq!!!

  • dark41969

    dude waz rocking ever since tony tone toni !!! but when iz the l.p. dropping? cuz it’z been a minute since hiz last l.p. and i’m fiending 4 thiz 1.

  • Emerzion

    A friend told me about this site that may interest you throwback song lovers, like myself – Guy, Timex Social Club, Ready for the World, Tony, Tone, Toni. You name it they’ve got it, and all where you can listen for free.

    http://www.throwbacksongs.com

    I’m currently hooked on it like morning coffee!!!

    You should get some.

    Emerzion

  • TONE PHOTO

    New album drops in September. Trust…

    PHOTOBYTONE.COM
    THENEWPOP.COM

  • ODB234

    Gotta drop soon! I’ve been waiting for long..

  • songbird7

    OMG!! I can’t wait for this to drop. I love Raphael’s music and style. I will be eagerly awaiting this release.

  • Timmdogg

    I have all of his album – if you would like to hear songs from his new album, please visit his webpage at myspace and listen to three new tracks.. but be warned – these songs are off the hook!!!!!!

  • Paco12

    la france attend aussi cet album avec réelle impatience!!!

  • sadecious

    rapheal saadiq is a majorly cool cat..

  • Little bitty

    I love this man!!

  • Drugh

    Oh Oh Oh… How I have cried this morning after hearing this wonderful wonderful music! It’s like all of my favourite musicians have gone back in time and made the sweetest soul album ever. I always swore that ‘Crusin’ by Smokey would be played at wake but now I’m not so sure. From the Tony days to Ray Ray I have loved this man. Nile Rodgers, George and Boosty, Meshell N’degeocello,Smokey Robinson, H.D.H, Raphael, Prince and D’Angelo…have always been out there…shaping my soul making me whole…oh oh oh how I want to thank you Raphael because today you have brought me joy…and then you’ve brought me more joy!

  • Andrea W, Charlotte NC

    I am sooooooooooooooooooooo in LOVE with this album! I am so glad that he brought it back to us like this! I feel like I am in the 60′s, but born in the 70′s. I am soooooooooo feeling this. That “OOO Girl” and “Sometimes”..OMG! I am feeling this one. Thank you Saadiq, than you! This is real music. NOt that wackness we have out today!

  • SoulRican

    I want to know if the song he sang on VH1 Soul with Rosillo …I’m calling for you baby is on his new cd …or any other cd he has. Thank you

  • Sylvester Donald, Jr.

    Saadiq’s album ‘The Way I See It’ is all of that and then some! As a musician songwriter myself, he’s got to be the one to put his touch to my repetoire of songs, of substance. I’m so proud of this man and I don’t even know him. Much continued success to you Raphael!

  • Sylvester Donald, Jr.

    How can I reach you and if you were to work with me, what’s needed to get started? I have inspirational R&B original songs, that I’d love for you to produce. Peace and Blessings!!!

  • JBB

    Raphael,

    I just peeped you at SOB’s NYC. I came from CT. I spread the word that you were coming. We rolled deep. And my brother you didn’t dissapoint. You are a musical genius. and the way you worked the crowd! I can’t even describe it. You’re the man!!!

  • KeeKee

    Saw Raphael Saadiq this past Monday in Philly. Everything, from the introduction which was Marvin Gaye singing the national anthem to the encore song Get Involved was tight! I love Raphael Saadiq, but this concert was far better than I expected. He has true talent and sounds better live than on the album! I really hope that he can make it back to Philly – on a weekend would be good. A sista has to get up for work the next day.
    Love & peace

  • MAC NY

    I just found this on youtube of saadiq being interviewed by billboard with the video. Check out the girl in the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4tIChViXlg.
    And he was awesome at SOBs!!!!!!!

  • HASANI HASHIM

    WHEN I SEEN THE VIDEO OF LOVE THAT GIRL,MY BROTHER WHO IS 14 THOUGHT IT WAS THE THE TEMPTATIONS HIT THE “THE GIRLS ALRIGHT”&THOUGHT RAPHAEL WAS DAVID RUFFIN

  • bening

    for the preview it’s so awesomeeeee!!! nice song.. i hope i can find your album in indonesia music store also…