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Let me say, straight up, that Raphael Saadiq can do no wrong in my book! His 2008 CD “The Way I See It” remains my favourite album of that year and having seen him on a few occasions this year (as special guest with John Legend in Washington DC and doing his own show in New York in March), I already know I’m guaranteed to have a great time. Performing before a packed house at this London venue, Raphael did not disappoint. Special mention upfront for a UK band, Mama’s Gun whose original music was very strong: definitely worth checking out and the three tunes that stayed with me were “Possibility,” “Let’s Find A Way” and “Ain’t Life A Bitch.”

Raphael has the enviable opportunity to draw from three distinct periods of his musical career: his years with Tony!Toni!Tone!, his work with Lucy Pearl and his own solo recordings. He sensibly draws from each to provide maximum impact for his audiences and this night was no exception.

Being personally partial to his latest album, I particularly enjoyed “Love That Girl,” “Just One Kiss,” the soulful “Oh Girl,” the sexy “Let’s Take A Walk,” “Dance Tonight” and “Staying In Love” but it was obvious from their reaction that the crowd was ready for Lucy Pearl cuts like “Don’t Mess With My Man” and “Doing What I Can” as well as TTT highlights “It Never Rains In Southern California” and the outstanding “Anniversary.” Taunting the London crowd that they were not as responsive as their Parisian counterparts, Raphael was in good spirits capping a solid night with “Big Easy,” another cut from ”The Way I See It.” Meshing old school flavor with a decidedly contemporary feel, Raphael offered a solid night of sweet soul music.

About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create Records as a leading reissue label.

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