ALBUM REVIEW: Musiq Soulchild - On My Radio

AllHipHop Staff

Sensual, alluring, and uplifting – these are

just some of the words used to describe the type of music that Musiq Soulchild

crafts. Aside from being one of the frontrunners in the Neo-Soul genre, Musiq

is also one of the most consistent singers in the game. Some call his first

album, Aijuswanaseing, a classic. His follow-up, Juslisen, kept him at the top, while Soulstar helped him crack the commercial

market and Luvanmusiq knocked harder than debt collectors on a Monday morning. However, on

his fifth album, On My Radio (Atlantic), Musiq takes us in a completely different direction.

Opening with “Backagain”, its old skool production

gives Musiq a fresh backdrop for him to drop some knowledge on a woman once

lost. Embracing the fact that his lady has returned to him, the chorus which

repeats, “Welcome back, welcome back,” admittedly does have a poppy kind of

Ma$e feel to it. While it might remind you of the once shiny suit wearing

rapper, it’s still a dope introduction to the album. Following this is the swing-worthy

“Until”. Its smooth yet hard instrumental lays the foundation for classic Musiq

Soulchild to appear and get his rocks off. His slick vocal flow and mid-tempo

persuasion aids this joint in being one of the album’s finer moments.

The Soulchild has opened up many new avenues for which

this album chooses to follow, even dabbling in some reggae on “Iwannabe”

(featuring Damien Marley). The only problem is that all of his longtime fans

might have the sudden urge to use the skip button more than they’re used to

when it comes to their street laureate, but he’ll draw in a new demographic

with his new direction.

Missing a few steps along the way, “Dearjohn” fires

blanks due in part to the badly acted female introduction, slower than slow

production, and Musiq’s less-than-believable passion. Another track that is

ultimately less than impressive is the Dirty South inspired “Radio”. What is

Musiq doing thinking he can come off like a Southern D-boy? C’mon man! The beat

is horrible – in fact it borderlines on snap music and we all know what

happened to that. A lighter remix might work, being that the subject matter

seems interesting, although the first verse where he brags about how fresh he

is might be slightly corny.

While On My Radio delivers mostly slow jams (and

Musiq can do it better than most), his obsession with this new route will make

you miss the mid-tempo funk you’re used to hearing from the Philly heartthrob.