Picks and Pans Review: Instant Vintage

updated 06/17/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/17/2002 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Raphael Saadiq (Pookie/Universal)

Album of the week

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He has been a member of groups Tony Toni Toné and Lucy Pearl as well as a writer-producer for the likes of D'Angelo and Whitney Houston. Still, Saadiq has long been one of R&B's best-kept secrets. Not anymore. His debut solo disc showcases his talents as an all-around artist: singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Evoking the classic soul of Al Green and Curtis Mayfleld, while updating it with subtle hip-hop touches such as scratching, Instant Vintage sounds at once old and new school. Saadiq's smooth, relaxed vocals are refreshingly understated. And he brings a breezy bounce to tunes like "Be Here," a deceptively funky duet with D'Angelo. Other guests include Angie Stone and TLC's T-Boz, but Saadiq is the one who really gets to sparkle on gospel-tinged gems like "Tick Tock," which should stand the test of time.

Bottom Line: A fine Vintage

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