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Review: Musiq Soulchild - 'MusiqInTheMagiq'

Musical Magic

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Review: Musiq Soulchild - 'MusiqInTheMagiq'
© Atlantic Records.
Up to this point in his career, the singer known as Musiq Soulchild has been best known for slow-burning, romantic ballads like "Halfcrazy," "teachme" and "Sobeautiful." But on his sixth studio album, MusiqInTheMagiq, Mr. Soulchild branches out a little and adds more uptempo material to his usual mix of songs. And the result is favorable; unlike most of his albums, things don't start to grow stale the closer you get to the end. MusiqInTheMagiq, which was released in the U.S. on May 3, 2011, gives Musiq's persona a welcome shot in arm while still retaining it's core essence.

Romanticism Meets Enthusiasm

The most obvious example of Musiq Soulchild's updating his sound for a younger/more modern audience is MusiqInTheMagiq's first song and first single, Anything," which features producer/rapper (and husband of Alicia Keys) Swizz Beatz. The uptempo dance song, which is about the importance of honesty in romantic relationships, is tailor-made for nightclubs. Swizz does a great job of not only hyping the song while at the same time not stealing the song or overshadowing the main artist. Another song that expertly balances Musiq's romantic nature with uptempo sounds are "Silver&Gold" and "Sayido," both of which benefit from marriages between Musiq's soft vocals and bass-and-drum-driven beats. Sonicly, this is Musiq's most open project yet. In addition to the above-mentioned uptempo influences, he also spreads his creative wings on "LoveContract," which emulates the doo-wop sound of the 1950s.
And as a whole, MusiqInTheMagiq is less laid back and lush musically than most of his previous work, and more assertive and immediate. To his credit, he still manages to make his relatively soft vocal style and tenderly romantic lyrics work within this context. By blending his trademark starry-eyed romanticism with more urgent musical enthusiasm, Musiq has managed to craft a formula that's resulted in one of the better albums of his career so far.
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