Ready to change: Musiq Soulchild, 2011

When I feature an artist for the first time, I generally like to start with the artist’s iconic or most popular hit.

But today will be a day of changes.

Musiq Soulchild is a neo-soul, soul, and R&B artist, best known for R&B ballads like Love from his debut album Aijuswanaseing (2000) and Dontchange from his second album Juslisen (2002), which debuted at number 1 on Billboard and went platinum.

Known for his silky-smooth voice that would induce anything from a first date to love-making, Musiq has an easy-going soulful sound that grabs the listener. What stand out are his clarity of voice and his enunciation, which are skills that could easily be overshadowed by the brute strength and embellishments often found in the power-driven genres of modern soul and R&B.

Today, we feature one of my favorite songs from his most recent album MUSIQINTHEMAGIC (2011) entitled, lovecontract:

If you’ve been keeping up at all, you could imagine why I like this song. It has the echo-chamber effect Motown loved to employ, a rhythm consistent with everything from an early Stevie Wonder tune like Fingertips to a Temptations hit, as well as the simple bassline, a cascade of strings, and backup vocals. In fact, often in live performances, Musiq will cite the Motown spirit before grooving this one out.

The message, too, is a fantastic one, in line with the nobility of soul music from its heyday:

I’m grown and I’m sexy and I’m ready to change…
I’m thinking it’s time I quit running around settle down and give my heart to you.
Cause I finally found out there’s no one in the world who can love me the way you do.

As Ernest Hemingway once wrote, There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.


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