13 Songs, 1 Hour, 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mercurial world of R&B—which can be especially unfair to female singers—Lalah Hathaway has managed to remain perennially relevant while adhering only to her own pace and her own vision. 2004’s Outrun the Sky feels thoroughly modern without bowing to trends. “Back Then,” “Your Favorite Song,” and “Better and Better” do the impossible: they're both breezy and substantial, like the glassine uptempo arrangements from Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall. Hathaway wrote or cowrote all but four of the album’s songs, and as a vocalist she’s never been freer. The extended gospel of “We Were 2” leaves her plenty of room to stretch out her voice, but she's just as agile within the lush, hypnotic moods of “More” and “Boston.” “Forever, for Always, for Love” was one of Luther Vandross’ most enduring love songs, and Hathaway retains its timeless sound. It could have been written any time between the '60s and the present. Hathaway knew there was no point in trying to “update” Luther’s sound. Instead, she gives the song her own feeling. While Luther’s version was sensual and thrilling, Lalah makes it intimate and confessional.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mercurial world of R&B—which can be especially unfair to female singers—Lalah Hathaway has managed to remain perennially relevant while adhering only to her own pace and her own vision. 2004’s Outrun the Sky feels thoroughly modern without bowing to trends. “Back Then,” “Your Favorite Song,” and “Better and Better” do the impossible: they're both breezy and substantial, like the glassine uptempo arrangements from Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall. Hathaway wrote or cowrote all but four of the album’s songs, and as a vocalist she’s never been freer. The extended gospel of “We Were 2” leaves her plenty of room to stretch out her voice, but she's just as agile within the lush, hypnotic moods of “More” and “Boston.” “Forever, for Always, for Love” was one of Luther Vandross’ most enduring love songs, and Hathaway retains its timeless sound. It could have been written any time between the '60s and the present. Hathaway knew there was no point in trying to “update” Luther’s sound. Instead, she gives the song her own feeling. While Luther’s version was sensual and thrilling, Lalah makes it intimate and confessional.

TITLE TIME
3:39
4:49
4:07
5:52
4:04
3:06
4:15
3:48
5:34
5:47
8:10
5:10
5:37

About Lalah Hathaway

The daughter of the great Donny Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway made a good impression with her self-titled debut recording in 1990. She not only displayed poise, confidence, and good technique, but was also versatile enough to do more than just light urban contemporary ballads. Her stage shows included jazz, pre-rock pop, and even gospel, and Hathaway later appeared on BET doing jazz and fusion. After her second and final album for Virgin, 1994's A Moment, she went on a lengthy hiatus, returning in 1999 with Joe Sample for The Song Lives On (GRP). The following decade and into the 2010s she released Outrun the Sky (Sanctuary, 2004), Self Portrait (Stax, 2008), and Where It All Begins (Stax, 2011) -- all fine albums involving collaborations with the likes of Mike City, Rahsaan Patterson, Rex Rideout, and Dre & Vidal. They established Hathaway as one of the finest adult contemporary R&B vocalists of the 2000s and 2010s. A 2013 collaboration with the band Snarky Puppy -- on a cover of Brenda Russell's "Something" -- won a 2014 Grammy Award in the category of Best R&B Performance. The following year, thanks to her role in Robert Glasper Experiment's update of Stevie Wonder's "Jesus Children of America," Hathaway picked up the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance. She then recorded and released Live. A document of back-to-back sets recorded at Los Angeles' Troubadour, the same venue her father played in 1971 -- as heard on the first side of his 1972-released album of the same title -- it was released in 2015. A version of "Little Ghetto Boy" took the 2016 Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance. ~ Ron Wynn & Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    Chicago, IL
  • GENRE
    R&B/Soul
  • BORN
    16 December 1968

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