"Words" (stream the video here) is a soaring love song with vocals so lush they sound the the musical equivalent of a river of honey. The chemistry between the two singers is very good, which should come as no surprise, since the two are good friends, both live in Atlanta and they've collaborated in the past. Anthony, who sounds like a cross between the gritty Anthony Hamilton and the smooth Bill Withers, is even signed to Universal Republic through India's Soulbird Records. Along with "Words," another great duet on the album is "Lady," a slow-burning R&B/Soul ballad featuring Keisha Jackson, daughter of legendary singer Millie Jackson. On "Lady," which is about a man changing his bad ways after falling in love, and other songs on the album, Anthony's knack for strong songwriting shines through. Many of the songs on Acey Duecy, tell stories, and its on these stories where Anthony gets real.
But the album's crown jewel is arguably the confessional "Cheatin' Man," an incredibly complicated - and profoundly sad - bluesy number where Anthony portrays a man who feels guilt and shame over following in his father's footsteps: "When I was a young boy I used to watch my daddy play, in my heart I'd always say he was wrong," he sings. "Now that I'm older, I find its time to settle down 'cause I need some love around to make me whole/But somethin' is funny; things I swore I'd never do I find myself fallin' a victim to."
If there's any knock on Acey Duecy, it's that there's not enough new material; of its 11 songs, almost all were originally on Anthony's two little-known indies releases: 2006's Red Clay Chronicles and 2004's Three Chords & the Truth. But if you haven't heard any of Anthony's previous work and/or you're a fan of bluesy Soul music, you might enjoy this album.