Anthony Hamilton The Point Of It All Review

Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Sung by one of modern day soul's true pioneers and great performers.

David Aaron 2008

Signed to So So Def, Anthony Hamilton has quietly been plying his trade within the soul fraternity since 1993 when he joined Mary J Blige's stable, Uptown Records, before going on to become backing vocalist for D'Angelo.

Since then he's contributed guest vocals and written for the likes of Nappy Roots, Dr Dre, 2 Pac, Al Green and Santana (to name a few); released two modern soul classics in the shape of Comin' From Where I'm From (2003) and Ain't Nobody Worryin' (2005); and made a cameo appearance by performing the lead soundtrack single in Denzel Washington's American Gangster.

Now the North Carolinan releases his third official studio album, which like its predecessors showcases the singer-songwriter’s prolific knack for writing melodic emotional, topical songs - all executed with his signature rich and heartfelt vocals.

Influences ranging from Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Bobby Womack to Sly and the Family Stone are evident throughout. Opening track The News sets the precedent (produced by regular cohort Mark Batson), evoking memories of Womack's Across 110 Street era; its dark dramatic orchestration and hip hop beat providing the heartbeat for Hamilton’s social commentary of street survival.

Much like John Legend (with less commercial aspirations) Hamilton has developed a partiality for creating beautifully crafted traditional soul with contemporary hip-hop. David Banner's appearance on swaggering lead single Cool epitomises this – drawing comparisons to D'Angelo's Left featuring Method Man and Redman.

Soul's On Fire is Hamilton at his drama-filled best; its sparse beat underneath horn-packed gospel arrangements stirring memories of Preacher's Daughter (2005) whilst the bluegrass-gospel fused Prayin' For You/Superman allows the soul man to showboat his church background.

The stunningly beautiful Her Heart is a testament to the 37 year-old's songwriting pedigree as is the Heavy D-produced She's Gone – triumphing as an anthemic narrative for all broken relationships.

Point Of It All is a wonderfully diverse collection of gospel, country, blues, soul and hip-hop - sung by one of modern day soul's true pioneers and great performers. It must finally bring its creator the critical and commercial acclaim that he is long overdue.

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