I bought Anthony Hamilton's record Comin' From Where I'm From last night and have listened to it two entire times and two partial times since then and I think I'm falling in love with it. It's not neo-soul, it's just soul, and the man has a voice that is kinda Al Green and kinda D'Angelo, but it's his songwriting that might make things very interesting. "Lucille" quotes the country song of the same name by the Oak Ridge Boys*, but only for one line, and it's really a song about sitting on a hill disconsolately while your girlfriend goes back to her former alcoholic lifestyle with her abusive ex-boyfriend. Strange that the narrator didn't let HER go, even though he realizes that she was poison for him; stranger still that the music is so circular, so folky, pitched between Babyface and Seal, and that the drumbeat is ripped from Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover," and that it all works organically. And he undersings it like a confident champion. I love falling in love with songs.

And the next one, the strange power-ballad electro-slowjam "Float," might be even more interesting. It has little voice-interactions like in Ken Nordine stuff between the guy in the left channel and the woman in the right. And it's about getting high and screwing, but not so much so that it doesn't accept their previous phone sex as part of normal interaction. Wow.

I'll write my own review someday, but here's Mark Anthony Neal with a great piece, as usual.

*Karl and Tom, in my high school's jazz ensemble, were hardcore metalheads who also played in a country band. They showed us part of their routine one day: starting off "Lucille" all straight and normal, and then singing on the chorus, "You picked a fine time to leave me YOU BITCH!" with a huge rimshot on the last word. "Drunk cowboys always love the word 'bitch,'" said Karl. We understood that they probably did.

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