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More Likely Redeemer?

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Anthony Hamilton : Fallin In Love Again and Why
taken from the album “Southern Comfort” on Merovingian (2007)

Anthony Hamilton : The Truth
taken from the album “Ain’t Nobody Worryin'” on So So Def/Zomba/Arista (2005)

Anthony Hamilton : Comin’ From Where I’m From (DJ Still Life Remix)
the original can be found on the album “Comin’ From Where I’m From” on So So Def/Arista (2003)

Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone, talented and soulful as they may be, are definitely riding high on great white hype-ness. I’m not trying to criticize their music in the least, but the downpour of praise and attention seems to be apporaching Indonesian monsoon-type levels. It strikes me as being more than a little imbalanced when looking at other soul artists in the hustle, of a more traditionally dark complexion, who’ve been left nearly high and dry. Anthony Hamilton’s newest effort (which was actually recorded earlier and has been sitting unreleased), put out on the apparently indie Merovingian (no site yet???), is a perfect example of a contemporary soul baring gem that will likely get 1/3 the number of reviews and write-ups as “Back To Black”. Even after “Comin’ From Where I’m From” went platinum, pulled along by the ballad bomb “Charlene”, he’s still struggling to get props. While some of the production he works with is less than stunning, Hamilton rises far above the track with a voice that even brings Donny Hathaway’s greatness to mind.

The DJ Still Life remix was pulled from Ear Fuzz a while back, and does a nice job of fixing the shortcomings of the original song – namely a weak beat – by calling on the classic memphis stylings of Willie Mitchell. Maybe Hamilton needs a little help from the Dap Kings and Mr. Mark Ronson? Maybe he talks too much about the bible and not enough about rehab? Personally, I think the complete package here is more apt for repeat plays and rotation longevity. There’s a slight gimmick aspect to what I’ve heard from Winehouse and Stone, I’m not talking Matisyahu here, but just a hint of manufactured forcefulness that I don’t hear in Hamilton’s more relaxed and freeflowing croon. Maybe I’m biased though.

Big up to our other contemporary soulsters who haven’t yet gotten their due shine:
Raphael Saadiq, Leela James, Eric Roberson, Stephanie McKay, Ledisi… add on to the list, there are many more out there.