Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Pop Music Review

Musiq Soulchild Looks Back to the Future

March 09, 2001|STEVE APPLEFORD | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The best vintage R&B always put feeling over craft, confession over cliche. That's why the current renaissance of classic soul--whether in the hands of traditionalist D'Angelo or the quirkier Macy Gray--has found a grateful and growing audience. Add Musiq Soulchild to the list of artists to thank.

The Philadelphia-based singer's music is a natural post-hip-hop successor to Stevie Wonder's sultry, smart soul. And during his performance at the House of Blues on Wednesday, Musiq Soulchild frequently sang in Wonder's reedy, emotional style while negotiating hazardous romantic terrain.

Dressed in shades and a black jumpsuit, he was backed by a five-piece band and three singers fluent in the ways of mood, feeling and jazzy funk. Though he's enjoyed a hit with the single "Just Friends (Sunny)," Musiq Soulchild is still unfinished as a writer, his repertoire more free-form soul expression than tight song craft. But his performance chops were convincing and absorbing.

"What's goin' on is called a jam session," he told the crowd as each band member took a moment to solo. Musiq Soulchild himself was not a showy performer, sometimes barely moving at all behind the microphone, but he occasionally danced along the stage, moved by some deep bass line or saxophone riff.

At 23, the singer is still in the early stages of a career. And as with his new "Aijuswanaseing" album, he demonstrated on Wednesday how meaningful new sounds can come just from looking back in the right direction.

* Musiq Soulchild plays Sunday at the House of Blues Anaheim, 1530 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, 7:30 p.m. $20. (714) 778-2583.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|