Review: Raphael Saadiq “Stone Rollin'”

Recent Coachella 2011 performer and former member of Tony! Toni! Toné!, Raphael Saadiq brings back the 50’s rock n’ soul that has everybody talking with his latest release Stone Rollin’.

The recent release continues along the bluesy and retro soul path of his previous 2008 album The Way I See it, which featured a fond head nod to Motown and Stax. This time around, Saadiq takes his love for the genre a whole step further, while weaving in other old school sounds and even dares to include some country bluegrass.

“Heart Attack” opens up Stone Rollin’ with Saadiq’s signature retro soul and has the crooner belting his heart out as he keeps up with the rhythm section before he completes his groove with a quick bluesy guitar riff that closes out the song. The title of the next track “Go to Hell” may suggest that Saadiq’s in for angry emotions thrown around, but instead you’ll get a heartfelt and reflective track that’s backed with a sweeping orchestral sound carrying out the reflective tone.

For those who fell in love with Saadiq’s take on Motown grooves, the track “Moving Down the Line” delivers infectious Marvin Gaye vibes complete with moving strings and touchy piano, but don’t expect Motown to dominate this album, Saadiq wanted to be more aggressive with each track and deliver much more than what his fans have been used to.

Taura Stinson lays down soul edged vocals and throws in some attitude on “Good Man” while Saadiq expresses his heart ache and severed relationship woes over a steady drum beat and jagged guitar and bass, complete with dramatic strings finishing out the melancholic track.
The steady beat of shuffling drums and horns begin the closing track “The Answer”, delivering a pretty solid finale to Stone Rollin’.

Raphael Saadiq fans won’t be disappointed in his latest gem, especially those who have been with him since his Tony! Toni! Toné! days. There’s no doubt that Saadiq has reinvented his sound since then, and has ushered in a new era of blues and rock n’ soul. For those who are discovering Saadiq for the first time, get ready to dive into Saadiq’s bursts of energy in the vocals heavy rhythm he lays down.

Check out the title track “Stone Rollin'” and Taura Stinson joining him on “Good Man” off the new album!

Stone Rollin’

Good Man feat. Taura Stinson