Spin Me Right 'Round: Meet The 'Sons Of Soul'

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Before Raphael Saddiq donned a sharp suit and belted out Motown-esque tunes with flair, he was 1/3 of Oakland's own neo-soul pioneers. Tony! Toni! Tone! are best known for taking the classic soul blueprint and mixing it with flavors of New Jack, hip-hop and jazz. From there they had a handful of hits from babymakers such as "It Never Rains In Southern California" to up-tempos like, "Feels Good". In 1993, T3 released their third effort, Sons Of Soul, and took their signature style to higher highs, by incorporating the old with the new for a hybrid that is warm as the summer sun. Yes, Sons Of Soul is the album that features one of T3's biggest hits, "Anniversary" but even as good as that song is (and overplayed during Valentine's Day), it's not the only heavy hitter on board, in fact some other compositions dwarf it even though it's a near 10 minute sprawl of a track. Motown recalls come to the surface on tracks such as "What Goes Around Comes Around". Jazzy Donald Byrd influences pop up on "I Couldn't Keep It To Myself" and the lush, "Slow Wine". While Tony! Toni! Tone! bring the romance, they call out the bad girls and shyster friends as the funny funk of "My Ex-Girlfriend" and the insanely catchy opener, "If I Had No Loot" showcase the groups lyrical wit. Things get interesting on the groovin' hip-hop and jazz fuse, "Tonyies! In The Wrong Key" and a recognizable George Benson riff appears on track, "Fun". There's alot of different styles roaming around on this record, which make for an engaging listen and it's quite nice to hear the early rumblings of what neo-soul has morphed into today. Thanks to the "sons of soul", taking a trip down memory lane never sounded so good...

Rating: 9.3/10

Hats, hats, hats, so many hats...the early to mid-90's were all about hats...those people are really gettin' down in the front row...Raphael is sooo young on this...

1 comment:

  1. OMG lol the photo you posted was a poster in my room when I was a little girl :D


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