Sensual, alluring, and uplifting these are
just some of the words used to describe the type of music that Musiq Soulchild
crafts. Aside from being one of the frontrunners in the Neo-Soul genre, Musiq
is also one of the most consistent singers in the game. Some call his first
album, Aijuswanaseing, a classic. His follow-up, Juslisen, kept him at the top, while Soulstar helped him crack the commercial
market and Luvanmusiq knocked harder than debt collectors on a Monday morning. However, on
his fifth album, On My Radio (Atlantic), Musiq takes us in a completely different direction.
Opening with Backagain, its old skool production
gives Musiq a fresh backdrop for him to drop some knowledge on a woman once
lost. Embracing the fact that his lady has returned to him, the chorus which
repeats, Welcome back, welcome back, admittedly does have a poppy kind of
Ma$e feel to it. While it might remind you of the once shiny suit wearing
rapper, its still a dope introduction to the album. Following this is the swing-worthy
Until. Its smooth yet hard instrumental lays the foundation for classic Musiq
Soulchild to appear and get his rocks off. His slick vocal flow and mid-tempo
persuasion aids this joint in being one of the albums finer moments.
The Soulchild has opened up many new avenues for which
this album chooses to follow, even dabbling in some reggae on Iwannabe
(featuring Damien Marley). The only problem is that all of his longtime fans
might have the sudden urge to use the skip button more than theyre used to
when it comes to their street laureate, but hell draw in a new demographic
with his new direction.
Missing a few steps along the way, Dearjohn fires
blanks due in part to the badly acted female introduction, slower than slow
production, and Musiqs less-than-believable passion. Another track that is
ultimately less than impressive is the Dirty South inspired Radio. What is
Musiq doing thinking he can come off like a Southern D-boy? Cmon man! The beat
is horrible in fact it borderlines on snap music and we all know what
happened to that. A lighter remix might work, being that the subject matter
seems interesting, although the first verse where he brags about how fresh he
is might be slightly corny.
While On My Radio delivers mostly slow jams (and
Musiq can do it better than most), his obsession with this new route will make
you miss the mid-tempo funk youre used to hearing from the Philly heartthrob.