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Anthony Hamilton - 'Southern Comfort'

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

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Anthony Hamilton - 'Southern Comfort'

Album cover © Merovingian Music

The Bottom Line

As many devoted Anthony Hamilton fans know, Mr. Hamilton had a string of failed record deals and unreleased music before he was finally scooped up and ultimately molded into a star by producer Jermaine Dupri and his So So Def music label. Southern Comfort is a collection of songs Hamilton recorded in the couple of years before his So So Def debut, Comin' From Where I'm From, was released. The album's far from perfect, but it provides an interesting look at the early career of a man who will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best Soul singers of all time.
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Pros

  • Above-average vocals.
  • Great lyrics.

Cons

  • Some songs are too polished and not gritty enough.
  • The music on some songs is cliched and unimaginative.

Description

  • Previously unreleased songs from 2000-2002.
  • Mid-tempo adult contemporary songs.
  • Southern-fried Soul.

Guide Review - Anthony Hamilton - 'Southern Comfort'

This is actually the second album of previously unreleased Hamilton material to make it's way into stores. But unlike the previous one, 2005's Soulife, the songs, to put it bluntly, just aren't as good. There's the usual Hamilton narratives about how hard life is, how much suffering he and others have endured and how people keep on keepin' on.

But the difference on Southern Comfort is that the sound mixing, song arrangements, production and instrumentation simply don't measure up to Hamilton's voice. If Hamilton's southern-fried, richly emotive vocals are a 9 on a scale of one to 10, then the production on the album is a 6 due to it's general blandness.

about five live up to the standards that we've come to expect from Anthony Hamilton, especially the outstanding, gospel-ish "Don't Say What You Won't Do," the sad, downtempo love song "Please;" and life-affirming "Glad U Called," where Hamilton sings about considering suicide:
"I'm glad that you called when you called me, 'cause you stopped me from doin' somethin' awful, 'Cause I've been sittin' here contemplatin' on takin' this life away," he sings.

If Southern Comfort proves anything, it's that Hamilton has definitely improved with age: his early work isn't nearly as powerful or as compelling as his modern-day songs. But with that said, Hamilton is so far ahead of the crowd talent-wise that even a collection of his old, unreleased songs is just as good as some of the new music being released by a lot of contemporary R&B singers.

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