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Soulstar

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Album Review

Not a whole lot has changed in Musiq's world since releasing his second album in 2002 — if this really isn't the case, you wouldn't know it from Soulstar. He's still following in the tradition of his '70s-era idols, he's still taking liberties with the compoundwords for his song titles, and he's still making modern soul that's equally classy and absorbing. Though the steady development of Musiq's songwriting and vocal skills is a major draw as ever, his greatest charm is that he never puts on airs — he never hides behind a persona or affectations, which gives him a sense of intimacy that many of his contemporaries lack. Perhaps that's the greatest lesson he has learned from those who paved the road he rolls down. At just over 70 minutes, Soulstar is another unnecessarily lengthy listen, but there's a great deal of depth beyond the big single picks. Sweet and laid-back from start to finish, the only bona fide boner is a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You," which is detrimental to the album's flow (even if you've never heard the original). Otherwise, this is one of the finest contemporary R&B releases of 2003, with both style and substance in good supply.

Biography

Born: 16 September 1977 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Philadelphia-born Taalib Johnson, aka R&B artist Musiq (Soulchild), grew up the oldest of nine children. The son of a die-hard '70s soul music fan, Musiq performed at Philly showcases like the Five Spot and Wilhemina's until his management team, Mama's Boys (Jerome Hipps and Michael McArthur), brought him to the attention of Def Jam Records. Musiq's debut album, 2000's Aijuswanaseing, was recorded mostly at Touch of Jazz Studios in Philadelphia. His first single, "Just Friends (Sunny)," appeared...
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Soulstar, Musiq Soulchild
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