Stone Rollin’

On 2008's The Way I See It, former Tony! Toni! Toné! frontman and current Malcolm X look-alike Raphael Saadiq did a spot-on impression of Motown circa 1965, defying retro-soul's bias for Seventies babymaking mush. Some have called Stone Rollin' his Electric Ladyland, and like the Hendrix classic, it's an inspired free-for-all, moving backward and forward from his beloved mid-Sixties — from girl-crazy Chuck Berry to politicized Stevie. Saadiq holds it together with tight songwriting, and he ups the urgency with garage-rock production that suggests a White Stripes fan. He doesn't just rediscover the past, he remakes it.

Listen to Raphael Saadiq's "Stone Rollin'":

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From The Archives Issue 1130: May 12, 2011