The Bottom Line
- Genuine, Passionate Singing
- Cool, Laid-Back Attitude
- Very Professional Instrumentation
- Doesn't Quite Reach a Plateau
- Intimate & Sexy
- Cool & Laid-Back
- Funky, New-School Soul
Guide Review - Rahsaan Patterson - 'Wines & Spirits'
The highlight of the album by far though, is "Oh Lord (Take Me Back)," a passionate gospel-funk hybrid on which Rahsaan, a New York native, sings about wanting to return to back his roots: "Take me to Harlem, where I was born. All the way back to '74 ... Oh Lord, take me back, oh Lord."
Rahsaan normally sings in a high-octave, laid-back manner, but on this song, he sings with an incredible strength and sense of immediacy, and with such a gritty, lower-octave passion that the track definitely stands out as not only one of the better songs on the album, but one of the better songs of 2007, by any artist, period. Among the album's other great material is the sophisticated ballad "Stars," and "Stop Breaking My Heart," which, despite the title, is not a remake of the Mint Condition song of the same name.
If there's any drawback to the album, it's that it doesn't reach its evident potential. Although there's not a single bad song on the album, not all songs are compelling, either. Everything, from the singing, to the live instrumentation, to the lyrics, are all good - sometimes great - but other than "Oh Lord (Take Me Back)," there's no instantly addictive tracks that immediately force you to listen to them over and over. Despite that though, on the whole, Wines & Spirits is definitely an above-average album that proves once again that some of today's best R&B/Soul music is made by under-appreciated artists.