Stone Rollin' - Raphael Saadiq
Stone Rollin' Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: The soul singer continues his 1960's-inspired music with a fourth album, blending vintage R&B sounds and smooth soul-pop.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. More Prince than Ray Parker Jr., he plays with himself to beat the band, and makes these 10 tracks bump and pulse.
  2. May 9, 2011
    90
    The album does not merely transcend period-piece status. It's the high point of Saadiq's career, his exceptional output with Tony! Toni! Toné! included.
  3. Jun 23, 2011
    89
    With Stone Rollin', California's vintage soul man is doubling down on the classic R&B while drawing from a deeper well and muddying up the water. Hitsville is still part of the formula, but so now are Howlin' Wolf and Sly Stone.
  4. 80
    With Stone Rollin', he broadens his outlook to take in various other R&B styles, without shifting more than a few years either way.
  5. 80
    Saadiq's genius spin on this sound is almost too fresh for its own good, occasionally finding itself in an over-indulgent state, but what's good about Stone Rollin' is great, as Saadiq succeeds in creating an album that almost any music listener can get into.
  6. May 12, 2011
    80
    It's difficult not to fall head over heels for Saadiq's hard-working showman ethic, especially when he threatens to take the party past the three-minute pop format (which he rarely does, unfortunately).
  7. May 9, 2011
    50
    R&B's menu has never looked so diverse or enticing, but Stone Rollin' is overcooked comfort food dressed up as haute cuisine.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 27, 2011
    10
    Good Album. So far, it's his best album. People need to takes notes and listen to this album. This is a fun, soulful, and amazing album. In my opinion, it's one of the best R&B/Soul album of all time. Expand
  2. Jun 4, 2011
    10
    Raphael Saadiq's previous album - the Way I See It - was a winning concoction of mid to late sixties Motown, which occasionally teetered on the edge of parody but was redeemed by sheer song quality.

    The new album is something different altogether. Not content with reviving the classic Motown sound, he now takes on the best of late sixties and early seventies soul. And while it should not work, it does and then some. So 'Stone Rollin' (the song) is a classic southern soul song (think Wilson Pickett at Muscle Shoals); 'Heart Attack' is Sly and the Family Stone at their most uplifting (and for good measure, the hidden track has a go at 'There's a riot going on' era as well). Many of the other tracks feel like you've stumbled upon a lost Temptations or Marvin Gaye album from the early 1970s, mixed with just a touch of Prince at his most psychedelic (lots of mellotron).

    People may complain that it's too retro, but it's soooooooo hard to do it this well. It's all in the basslines and the arrangements... Simply excellent and a classic in the making. Having listened to the album many times over the past two weeks, it's the bass-lines and song quality that stand out.
    Expand
  3. May 11, 2011
    9
    Just an incredible album. It's infectious from the first note to the last.

    As a late blooming fan of T.T.T. I knew I recognized Saadiq's
    voice but that was years ago and I didn't know of his name.

    You can still steam this on NPR for another week or so and I'd highly recommend it.

    I'll be buying this album on my next visit to the music store...fo sho. 2 thumbs way up.
    Expand
  4. Jun 15, 2011
    7
    Kicking off with the punchy parody to Sly & The Family Stone, "Heart Attack" instantly recalls "Dance To The Music" with similar four to the floor rhythmic energy and a deliberate free flowing edginess. Saadiq has introduced a greater range of instrumentation including the Mellotron and Moog synthesisers which add effective embellishments to many of the songs. If there is a reservation it's that the middle of the record feels like an exercise in hiding less ambition to the quality of song writing and more to re-tracing the individual genre, or groove. Some of the melodies, particularly on "Over You" and the title track seem hamstrung by over familiarity and a repetitive lack of range. But it's when Saadiq allows himself the time to develop his greatest skill (as an arranger) the songs take on an irresistible lift. The horn interplay that supports "Movin' Down The Line" is sensational, and Larry Dunn's Moog solo on "Just Don't" makes for the spectacular stand out of the album. "Stone Rollin'" doesn't teach us anything we didn't know before. Saadiq is a superb interpreter, arranger and singer, and a decent enough song writer. http://hackskeptic.com Expand

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