Review: Musiq Soulchild | Onmyradio

Lukewarm-Lanta
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 15, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars

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Although he was born and bred in Philadelphia, a land where no R&B record is complete without a healthy helping of Fender Rhodes fuzz, Musiq Soulchild has never quite fit into the neo-soul scene populated by the Brotherly Love likes of Bilal and Jill Scott.

Yet with his headphone-friendly arrangements and his penchant for hippy-dippy linguistics — see last year's Luvanmusiq — neither has he found a place alongside such more straightforward (and hunkier) crooners as Joe and Avant. "Radio," the lead single from his latest, makes it no easier to categorize him — it's a bare-bones hip-hop track that advertises his new home base of Atlanta.

The downside of this open-armed approach is a lack of sonic specificity; OnMyRadio occasionally blands out into a nondescript stew of melismatic vocals and slow-jam beats. The upside is an eclectic guest list: one of this album's two best cuts, "IfULeave," features Mary J. Blige, and the other, "IWannaBe," co-stars Damian Marley.

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