(((Rating: 4 Notes)))
Bangers: The News, Diamond in the Rough, I Did It For Sho', Hard to Breathe, Soul's On Fire, Please Stay, The Point of It All
I will be truthful. I downloaded this album from my favorite blog and gave it my first listen and to be completely honest only one track stood out to me. Then the next night I was experiencing a case of insomnia and scrolled to his album on my iPod and was blown away.
The first song "The News", bass-heavy with a Curtis Mayfield/Marvin Gaye-ish sound thumps hard with horns and a piano lacing the track as Anthony sings in high and mid-tones with grit and feeling. He tells a story that will make you imagine walking down a dark alley in the late 70's early 80's. The song is a great opener for an impressive abum.
He then follows with "Cool" featuring David Banner and it has a looped guitar and a nice laid-back but danceable beat. He speaks about being "cool" with just love alone. Nice song.
"The Day We Met" also comes in thumping a tad reminiscent of "The News" with piano lacing and a heavy beat but this time we hear Anthony singing in a more relaxed tone in the verse and then the hook is undeniable as he sings higher and the horns make their presence known. I'd imagine riding in a car, mid-summer with the windows down, listening to this one.
"Diamond in the Rough" is definitely one of my favorites on the album as it takes me back to how R&B used to be as he croons, "you're a diamond in the rough girl and I'm here to make it better." And he surely did thus far. On this track we hear our faithful piano and what sounds like a light sprinkling of an electric guitar. Nice.
"I Did It For Sho" comes in like a lullaby very light with snaps and a nice 1,2 beat and it makes me think of something Andre 3000 might do. He sings about a woman sleeping on his love and how he has found someone better now. He did it "fo sho" on this one.
Next, we flow into "Hard to Breathe" which puts me in the mind of Dave Hollister and old R&B once again. The hook is what will definitely catch the listener if the first verse doesn't and the darkness of the music makes you feel the storm of his pain as he sings, "it gets hard to breathe...".
He follows thru wonderfully with the looped cymbals and drum beat and piano on "Soul's on Fire"as he sings, "y'all know that happiness aint free" and forces his audience to understand his struggle once more. This one inspires courage and yet you still feel his pain.
We are then introduced to another side of Anthony on "Please Stay" as the horns come in quietly but surely, the music and old-school feel reminds you of the American Gangster classic song, "Do You Feel Me?" and begging for understanding. This one is surely for the lovers, whether love lost or found. Anthonys' voice caressing the lyrics as though he is making love to the verse. The breakdown in this song alone is impressive in how he captures a timeless vibe. Lyrics like, "...and if I had my way, I would go down on my knees and ask my God to make you stay...", would make any woman in her right mind turn back around. Needless to say this is a fav for me. As we would expect on a perfect album, he follows up with "The Point of It All", the title track with enticing lyrics right from the start, "I can't stay away from you to long...". And neither can we from this album. The slow beat and our old-friend the piano is back here and we realize as he sings, "the point of it all is I love you...".
"Fallin' In Love" comes in with a beautiful piano melody and then very hard uptempo-drums and an old record effect throughout the track. He sings in his classic voice with grit and the down home feel we have come to love. The hook is also pretty catchy. "I feeel like fallin' in love." "Praying for You/Superman" sounds like it should be in an old country movie like "Life" and it is certainly not a favorite of mine. The church clap beat kinda makes me want to skip it and the wah-wah guitar doesn't help either. "Superman" sounds like a juke-joint song. Skippable.
Anthony gets sentimental on "Her Heart" with the airy-ness of the song and theme of forgiveness and cherishing his woman's heart. Nice song but not really a fav. "Fine Again" has a nice, laid-back thump to it and you hear faint sounds of a guitar, definitely a song to let play out. "We'll be fine again...". Nice closer to the album, as it sounds like a farewell and well-wishing track!
Overall, this album was incredibly good and very well produced. There was maybe one song I didn't care for but not because it wasn't sang well, it just wasn't my type of music. Anthony's lyrics and vocal ability is classic and will definitely take you back to what old-school R&B sounded like and how music should feel. Needless to say, I bought this album legally! :)