Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lucy Pearl

The post on Raphael Saadiq a few days ago got me thinking about his under-discussed discography. Tony! Toni! Tone! is pretty well established, if still under-rated, in the pop canon, and people are starting to come around on his heretofore brilliant solo career. What may be receding into the popcult ether is Lucy Pearl, one of a relative few soul supergroups that only lasted for about a year. Under Saadiq's lead, Lucy Pearl's Voltron was completed with the production wizardry of Ali Shaheed Muhammed of A Tribe Called Quest and Dawn from En Vogue. Yes, Dawn has a last name (it's Robinson), but it has always just felt better to say "Dawn from En Vogue". Despite the superstar weight this group supported for almost a year, the music sounds remarkably casual and comfortable, a Saadiq specialty. Like most of the man's work, the Lucy Pearl stuff turns out to be immaculately constructed and arranged after the pure low-key pleasure is drained from it. Let's take a look at "Dance Tonight":

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