The Point Of It All (released December 16, 2008)
Look at Anthony! Somebody got a haiiir-cut! I barely noticed him without his homeless man beard and raggedy T-shirt. But he doesn’t look too happy as he checks himself in the mirror. Guess his new girlfriend made him do it.
I don’t know why he’s always so depressed. Maybe because his excellent 2003 debut, Comin’ From Where I’m From, often gets overlooked in discussions of great soul albums of the last few years.
In honor of his new look, let’s try something different for this review.
Track 1: The News
Sort of like a more hip “What’s Going On,” about constant drama on the news and the need for a savior. Old premise, but it works.
Track 2: Cool (featuring David Banner)
Anthony’s trademark mellow single. David Banner’s disgusting rap “let me scratch the dandruff out your scalp/dig in your nose” can’t even slow this down.
Track 3: The Day We Met
Another laid back one, but when the horns kick in on the hook things pick up nicely. He also continues his long obsession with having a bunch of kids. He wants “as many as we can afford.” Doesn’t he know we’re in a recession?
Track 4: Diamond In The Rough
Don’t worry ladies, your man might be triflin’ but Anthony’ll treat you right. So he says.
Track 5: I Did It Fo Sho
Produced by Salaam Remi, the guy who did a lot of those Jazmine Sullivan and Amy Winehouse songs. Pretty good, until he starts rambling at the end of the track about “that Beyonce talk, to the left, to the left.” Makes him sound about 75 years old.
Track 6: Hard To Breathe
He slows it waaaay down here to flex his vocals. Nice.
Track 7: Soul’s On Fire
Oh, here we go. Anthony at his miserable best. When he says “Done lost sleep, and lost weight/I’m doing bad” he sound like a strung-out crackhead. And that’s a compliment!
Track 8: Please Stay
Pretty much what you’d guess – Anthony begs his woman to stay. He probably offered to cut off his homeless man beard for her.
Track 9: The Point Of It All
Eh, the lyrics are kinda corny – like something your uncle would sing in embarrassing fashion to your aunt at the family reunion – but it has its charm.
Track 10: Fallin’ In Love
Sounds like one of those boisterous Christina Aguilera songs, complete with someone playing the piano really hard, but minus the ear-shattering screaming.
Track 11: Prayin’ For You/Superman
Ugh, the banjo and hand claps makes this sound too much like a Negro spiritual. The smoky lounge-groove of “Superman” is much better.
Track 12: Her Heart
Another pitiful love song. But the man puts so much emotion into it that you have to feel him. I’m digging it.
Track 13: Fine Again
OK, but pretty forgettable compared to most of the stuff here.
Track 14: She’s Gone
Lyrically, it’s no different than “Her Heart,” another sad song about his girl moving on. It sounds like his mother is happy to see the woman go, though. You’d think she’d be happy that the girlfriend got her son to put on a clean shirt for once.
The verdict: Anthony’s still down in the dumps, and that’s how I like him. Minus a couple of sharecropper-sounding songs, this is a definite keeper.
Best tracks: “Soul’s On Fire”, “Her Heart”, “The Day We Met”
4 stars out of 5