Soul is good for your health


I’m trying to get my RDA of soul, not that I need it – I’ve been bumpin’ Stevie, Curtis, & Dwele for about 72 hours – but capitalizing on it’s salubrious sound nonetheless. Soul is great, because unlike, say, chocolate, too much is never bad for you; but similar to chocolate, it’s condusive to remarkable tastes, perpetual good moods, and in the right context, amorous exploits.

While I’m a huge Dwele fan, and have been pushing (at least to myself) to get a Dwele post on TT, I need to pay some respect to Bilal. Remember him? Him & Raphael Saadiq freaked us with “Soul Sista,” and he even was nice enough show up on Common’s LWFC, including what I consider one of the smoothest, illest interludes in the history of music, which coincidentally closed out one of my favorite Dilla beats, “Funky For You.” Not to take away from that song (excellent track!), but I used to fast forward to about the 4:32 mark so I can get a quick listen to Bilal pleading with somebody that it was “going to be okay” right before I walked into class. Brilliant voice!

Earlier tonight I was dyin’ for something smooth (duh). I found a cover of EWF’s “Can’t Hide Love,” featured on Interpretations: Celebrating The Music of Earth, Wind, & Fire, revisited by The Randy Watson Experience (Quest & James Poyser), and featuring Bilal. A few thoughts: first, I love Quest’s perspective on music (definitely aware of that ill “something” that makes classic soul so f*cking cool), and I love the prospects of him and Poyser producing an entire album under the Experience. I could be wrong, but I think Poyser also joined Quest on Pharrel’s Out Of My Mind, which really is a great listening experience.

Anyway, so I’ve been bumpin’ the most recent incarnation of “Can’t Hide Love” with Bilal teasing the listener: I’ve never heard anyone say he couldn’t sing. To me, Bilal is the quintessential soul/jazz singer. At one minute, he’s voice is smooth and dips down into the “holy crap this sounds amazing” part of the body. And then a few moments later, he can stir that same part of the body into an uncomfortable, yet intriguing, frenzy dancing between various tones/harmonies/[insert appropriate musical theory term here]. Whether you’re a music expert or not, you know what I’m talking about when it happens, and Bilal is a master at it. (Refer back to 1st Born Second’s “Love Poems” versus “Second Child,” and compare how he conveys two contradictory moods with his voice. Note: “Slyde” is one of my favorite tracks – “I’ve been eyein’ you for a long time, and I don’t think you really understand, that I’m just so fucking in love with you…” Amazing.)

Besides knowing that there are label issues floating around Bilal, I don’t know the specifics about the delay of his supposed sophomore album, Love For Sale. What I do know is that whenever I see his name as a featured guest, I am sure to grab the track(s). On Sa-Ra’s The Hollywood Recordings, the Bilal featured “Sweet & Sour” is one of my favorite tracks: Sa-Ra’s synth production really is a great match for Bilal’s unpredictable delivery.

So, in a roundabout sort of way, that’s what I’ve been listening to for most of this evening. RWE’s “Can’t Hide Love,” EWF’s “Can’t Hide Love (always love hearing the contrast, regardless how subtle they may be…it’s worth noting that the horn section that closes out the Randy Watson Experience version is simply amazing (starts around the 3′ mark).

Other tracks that have been on steady play today include Dwele’s “Weekend Love,” from Some Kinda… (the trombone in the beginning IS soul as far as I’m concerned), and Raheem DeVaughn’s “Guess Who Loves You More.” If you’re not familiar with it, Raheem (probably best known for his cameos on Jazzy Jeff projects, e.g. “Love Savior” from The Magnificent) has a classic falsetto sound, and his casual delivery on that song IS also soul.


One Response to “Soul is good for your health”

  1. amor Says:

    Check out raheem devaughns video blogg!

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