Raphael Saadiq - Ray Ray

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Music Reviews Raphael Saadiq
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Raphael Saadiq - Ray Ray

It was high time Raphael Saadiq released a follow-up to Instant Vintage, his 2003 solo debut. Ranging from funk, R&B and soul to gospel and hip-hop overtones, Ray Ray delivers the goods. Softer than Cee-lo and sexier than Ricky Fanté, he proves his versatility by serving up romance (“I Love Her”), funky beats (“I Know Shuggie Otis”) and orchestral pop (“This One”) with equal glee. Twice, he steps over the line—check the all-too realistic gun blasts punctuating the chorus on “Ri?e Love,” or the sappy vocals on the lead single “Detroit Girl,” which channels Beck’s “Debra,” itself a parody of FM dance music. Whenever Saadiq’s ?ring off a round or crooning “Detroit Girl / I’m loving that taste and that chain around your waist / You know I do,” he’s more apt to get a hearty chuckle than the ?irtatious giggle he’s striving for. But despite the occasional falter, Saadiq recovers like a champ.

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