Anthony Hamilton

Ain't Nobody Worryin' (So So Def / Zomba / Arista)

SXSW Records

Anthony Hamilton

Ain't Nobody Worryin' (So So Def/Zomba/Arista)

When Anthony Hamilton asks, "Why must they try to tear down my house when they know it's made from love," he's expressing tragedy rather than demanding an answer. Festering wounds make for great R&B, and here, the Carolina singer wallows chest-deep in the mire, and the follow-up to 2003's monumental Comin' From Where I'm From casts dark shadows contemplating deteriorated faith and self-confidence. Wondering "Where Did It Go Wrong?" the opener concludes, "It's gonna take God's hand to heal me" as its Donny Hathaway immediacy ferments nostalgia. The title track updates Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," while questioning the apathetic indifference of those stuck in societal ruts. Drawing on his background in gospel, Hamilton's observation that "when they kneel down low, all they doing is tying their shoestrings" yearns for communal cohesion. "Can't Let Go" and "Pass Me Over" further accent the beauty of somber tones, and even the LP's most playful number, "Sista Big Bones," elicits Stevie Wonder suggesting we "Have a Talk With God." Producer Mark Batson brings out the dreamy, dreary feel of "Southern Stuff" as Ain't Nobody Worryin' saunters into swampy hot territory with spiritual purpose. "No matter what the people say," Anthony Hamilton stands by his instincts as a convicted soul bogged in a quagmire. (Thursday, March 16, 7:45pm @ La Zona Rosa)

***

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