Review: Soul man Raphael Saadiq has released a lot of superb music over the years, but he still finds it hard to top his debut album, 2002's "Instant Vintage". Now available again on CD courtesy of Universal Music's "Music On CD" reissue strand, the album remains one of the finest examples of early noughties neo-soul/R&B/hip-hop soul fusion. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the bluesy hip-hop soul bump of "Charlie Ray" and the string-laden R&B brilliance of D'Angelo collaboration "Be Here", to the uplifting "Faithful", softly spun "Blind Man" and the anthem-like "Skyy, Can You Feel Me", a spiraling single that remains one of Saadiq's most celebrated songs. In fact, it may well be his crowning achievement (though the whole album is undeniably brilliant).
Review: The legendary Idris Muhammad left behind a monumental legacy in jazz. His was the accessible, soulful side of the genre, captured most effectively here on his career highlight from 1976, House Of The Rising Sun. From seriously funky wig outs like "Theme For New York City" to the catchy version of "House Of The Rising Sun", every track is a hit on here. This new edition of the album also comes with two additional tracks - the cool and smooth "Pipe Stem" and the bright and snappy "I Know You Don't Want Me No More", making this one for completists as well as newcomers to the might of the late, great Idris Muhammad.