I was hard pressed to correctly identify the decade that Raphael Saadiq's The Way I See It was released. From the Motown-era cover art, to the album's sound, this is a retro project through and through; so much so that, like me, you might wonder why these tracks had been gathering dust since the 60s in some deep Detroit archive before realizing (courtesy of the Jay-Z guest appearance) that this record was produced just last year.
Maybe it's this old fashioned sound that's kept the album off any major charts and the radio, which is a total shame because it's easy to see how the good-natured raciness of Let's Take a Walk, the updated AM gold Never Give You Up, or the best song of the album, Love That Girl, could easily have become big radio hits and acquainted a new generation with this classic R&B sound.
The subject of these simple, soulful songs is love: the loss of it (the poignant Big Easy), living in the midst of it (and riding each other) in Oh Girl, the avoidance of it (100 Yard Dash) and its complications (Staying in love). It's perfect for grabbing a partner and dancing to or, if no one is at hand, to daydreaming to like teenagers I imagine teenagers would have done back in 1964.