Raphael Saadiq

Stone Rollin' (Columbia)

Phases and Stages

Raphael Saadiq

Stone Rollin' (Columbia)

There was nothing revelatory about mining classic soul when Raphael Saadiq dropped The Way I See It in 2008. In fact, the practice was flirting with the point of saturation, yet what made Saadiq's Motown homage special was its masterful execution. While others emulated Stax and the sound of young America, Saadiq embodied the spirit. With Stone Rollin', California's vintage soul man is doubling down on the classic R&B while drawing from a deeper well and muddying up the water. Hitsville is still part of the formula, but so now are Howlin' Wolf and Sly Stone. Rhyming over a rollicking guitar lick shaken from the tree of Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Saadiq sounds like he's never had more fun than on the sock-hop ready "Radio." The former Tony Toni Toné frontman plays nearly every instrument himself but enlists the top-shelf talent of Robert Randolph's steel guitar on "Day Dreams" and Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn on "Just Don't." From swampy roadhouse blues on the title track to soaring orchestral harmonies in "Go to Hell," Saadiq's latest filters a dizzying spectrum of black music history through his unique modern lens. Like the album opener, Stone Rollin' is serious as a "Heart Attack."

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Raphael Saadiq
ACL Live Shots
Raphael Saadiq

Raoul Hernandez, Oct. 9, 2009

ACL Music Fest Friday Interviews
Raphael Saadiq
The cosmic soulman revives the Motown sound

Chase Hoffberger, Oct. 2, 2009

More Music Reviews
Faster Than Sound: Patti Smith and Bikini Kill in One Weekend
Patti Smith and Bikini Kill in One Weekend
Lighting strikes twice in Austin, and Pleasure Venom opens

Rachel Rascoe, May 13, 2022

Dispatches From a New Decade of SXSW
Dispatches From a New Decade of SXSW
Our favorite musical moments from the fest

Kevin Curtin, March 25, 2022

More by Thomas Fawcett
The Best Music We Saw at SXSW on Friday
The Best Music We Saw at SXSW on Friday
Seventies funk GOATs, queer nu metal, and so much more

March 19, 2022

Crucial Concerts SXSW Week Edition
Crucial Concerts SXSW Week Edition
Our favorite showcases and unofficial parties for the rest of the week

March 18, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Raphael Saadiq

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle