Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Raphael Saadiq: Instant Vintage [Universal, 2002]
Concentrate on it or fuck to it--anything in between and it'll seem too hookless for pop, too quiet for funk, too slight for words. The structural strategy draws on erotic strategy--start off indirect and bloom into arousal, mouthwork, song. Individual tracks work that way, and so does the album as a whole, which honors the sacred memory of Tony Toni Toné more supplely than Lucy Pearl and may be more woman-friendly to boot. With Lucy Pearl, I could never concentrate long enough to notice--which is why I suspect that, effectively, Saadiq's album may be more woman-friendly than Joi's, too. A-