Musiq Soulchild: Musiqinthemagiq

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Posted June 30, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0
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Neo-Soulbrother No.1, making very little risks and detours, give fans more of the same smooth buttery soul

When the Philly-bred Musiq Soulchild released his first major album release, neo-soul was the rage. Now neo-soul frontrunners like Erykah Badu, Angie Stone and Jill Scott have just almost abandoned the style for a grittier kind of soul music or have shifted towards the R&B-friendlier style usually dubbed as urban contemporary.  Somewhere in between his career, Musiq dropped the Soulchild from his name, proving to be a weapon of mass destruction aimed at his league of fans. Lessons learned, Musiq returned to his Soulchild moniker and got back to making soul music primed for adult R&B radio.

His sixth disc, MusiqIntheMagiq, attempts to do what OnMyRadio escaped from doing by reconnecting him back to his faithful fans and listeners. He trims away previous producers (Ivan Barias, Carvin Haggins) and chooses Wyclef Jean’s Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis as the album’s chief director. The Swizz Beats-produced “anything,” a product of his new partnership, is a radio-friendly R&B standout, while “Single” resuscitates the vibes of “girlfriend” and mostly evokes the dreamy love ballads of Ne-Yo and Maxwell (“befriends”). He tries to stretch his talent into Raphael Saadiq-inspired flashbacks on “lovecontact,” but he belongs where he’s most comfortable and effective on the charming urban-R&B romantics like “silver&gold” Still, Soulchild still hasn’t recorded a full-length that adds the super sizzling buzz to his college life romance nor the kind of record that totally utilizes his strengths as a soul balladeer.  MusiqInTheMagiq continues that trend. It’s a safe representation of what listeners would normally expect from Soulchild, except for the otherworldly whuzzy “likethesun.” When pumping out large amounts of poetic-inspired sophistication, the selections lean over the ramp too far, almost dangerously. Granted he will kick out one or two R&B gems from this disc, like his other albums have done. The end result will ultimately help create a delicious “greatest hits” album for the 21st century Philly soul torchbearer.

J MATTHEW COBB

HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 3 May 2011
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Producers: Jerry Wonda, Arden “Keyz” Altino, Lil’ Ronnie, ELEMENT, Jack Splash, Jesse “Corparal” Wilson
  • Spin This: “Silver&Gold,” “Single,” “Anything”

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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