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House of Music

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Editors’ Notes

The Oakland R&B trio Tony Toni Tone’s sound got quieter on House of Music, the follow-up to 1993’s multiplatinum Sons of Soul, as their homage-errific nods to influences were their most overt yet. Their party-hearty collaboration with DJ Quik, “Let’s Get Down,” featured an acoustic guitar as lead instrument, while the piano-laden “Lovin’ You” sounded perfect next to hushed Isley Brothers jams such as “Work to Do.” The Tonyies paid homage to the Stylistics, whose biggest hit had been “Betcha By Golly Wow,” with “Holy Smokes & Gee Whiz,” and grinningly nodded to Al Green’s Memphis classics on “Thinking of You.” Singer Raphael Saadiq (formerly Wiggins) also made his way into the Testifiers’ Hall of Fame with the seven-minute “Still a Man.” The group imploded after this set, but it’s some goodbye.

Customer Reviews

Just Plain Soul

As someone born in the early sixties, like the members of Tony Toni Tone, I am always fascinated by the phrase Neo-Soul and its erroneous application to Tony Toni Tone. Primary group members, Raphael Saadiq, Dwayne Wiggins, and Timothy Christian Riley were not so much reintroducing Soul music as they were simply extending the genre into the late 1980s and early 1990s. House of Music ably demonstrates their elder influences: Al Green, Earth, Wind & Fire, along with Sly Stone, and Stevie Wonder. Deja vu occurs when brother Randall Wiggins emerges as Stylistics' member Russell Thompkins on "Holy Smokes and Gee Whiz." Yet like previous Tony Toni Tone recordings, there is a thoroughly modern nuance that suggests a respect for their elders without becoming so tied to the Soul tradition that the Soul tradition dies due to its unwillingness to try anything new. House of Music is a thoroughly enjoyable romp for both the Soul traditionalist and the youngster who has digested too much beat-heavy Hip Hop. The members of Tony Toni Tone were not the Neo-Soulers critics have called them, but rather the youngsters dedicated to extending the idiom that gave birth to them. House of Music was such an effort and deserved a much larger listening audience than it received when it was released in 1996.

Probably the most slept on album of all time

This album can be put on and listened to over and over again. Probably one of the best albums this group or any group will ever make in this genre.


It's so ironic that that their best album was also the last. The Three T's went all out on this album. All of the songs are great, Raphael's singing is beautiful, almost brings me to tears on "Lovin You" and "Wild Child." Just so you know, "Loving You" has a soulful mid tempo groove but it's truly one of the most romantic love songs I've ever heard. When Raphael says, "Loving you makes all my pain go away. Loving you let's me know there's a God" you know he's "been there" and can relate. Tim and D'Wayne played the heck out of the instruments, and it was really good to also hear from DJ Quik too, on "Let's Get Down." I think something else that makes this album stand out is the use of horns, and a more orchestral feel as well as vocals from D'Wayne. I remember when this album dropped, and I remember thinking, "This is REAL music." This album is timeless and you won't regret the purchase!


Formed: 1987 in Oakland, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Brothers Dwayne and Raphael Wiggins and cousin Timothy Christian have proven themselves durable guardians of the soul and funk tradition, while also infusing their music with enough contemporary devices to remain popular. This Oakland trio scored a number one R&B hit right out of the box in 1988 with "Little Walter," a song that generated some criticism from gospel audiences for its use of the melody from "Wade in the Water." But they've since been able to keep things going on their own, as their...
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House of Music, Tony! Toni! Toné!
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