Musiq Soulchild - Luvanmusiq

Posted 9 years ago

Musiq Soulchild’s soulful voice has been quiet for three years, and in that time he’s left...

Luvanmusiq Album Review

Musiq Soulchild’s soulful voice has been quiet for three years, and in that time he’s left Def Soul (to sign with Atlantic Records,) dropped and then reclaimed the Soulchild portion of his name, and in the process done some serious growing up. Luvanmusiq, his newest release, is the record of a man becoming a man, both personally and musically. Musiq has replaced songs about nice clothes, partying, and crushes with introspective takes on love and relationships. He has said that “the aim of this album is to introduce myself,” and with his first single B.U.D.D.Y. receiving serious radio play, he has already accomplished that goal. While Musiq shares production duties, his is the only voice on the entire album, meaning Luvmusiq’s success or failure rests solely on his own shoulders.

Musically the album is simple and elegant, with most songs built around piano, guitar, and drum lines. Such minimal production and a reliance on musicianship makes Luvandmusiq the kind of album that sounds as if it were recorded live. The first song on the album, Teachme, is a perfect example. The track starts off with a cascading piano line, emphasized with bursts of guitar and a steady hi-hat drum beat, and this formula remains steady throughout. The effect is to create the kind of hypnotizing song perfect for relaxing or traffic-jam sing alongs, unfortunately Teachme is one of only a handful of tracks [on the album] that strike such an effective balance between chill and completely forgettable.

Luvadmusiq’s more serious tone is both a blessing and a curse; the album is well crafted and intelligent, but on occasion is so subdued that songs can fade into background music. Thequestions is Musiq’s attempt at a solo-piano ballad, but although the lyrics are thoughful and honest, it ultimately fails to make a true connection (listen to John Legend’s Ordinary People to see how it’s done). Today falls into a similar trap; a great love song should make you stop everything and intensely listen to every note, Today might actually put you to sleep.

When Musiq stops trying to make legendary R&B and instead simply writes the type of songs that get the entire crowd dancing, Luvanmusiq takes on an entirely different life. Betterman starts out with a funk-infused bass line, a driving drumbeat, and a looping vocal harmony that forces your body to start moving. Makeyouhappy is punctuated with horn sections and a clap track that’s made for losing yourself in the music. It’s moments like these that reveal what Musiq is capable of, soul-infused party jams that can also touch an emotional nerve.

If Musiq’s sole intention for this album was to remind us he’s alive, mission accomplished. Luvanmusiq has several solid tracks, and a couple excellent ones, but as a whole it falls just short of excellent. In short, this is the type of album that iPods were invented for; download your favorite tracks, get down, and rest assured that you don’t have to buy the entire album. It’s certainly good to have Musiq Soulchild back in the game, but he’ll have to put something more than just Luvanmusiq into his songs if he wants to stake his place among his R&B heroes Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway.

DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins

Written by
Posted 9 years ago

Related Songs & Features

Sample Text - Sample Link

More from Musiq Soulchild

Featured Video

Hip Hop News

The Irving Plaza Shooting Isn’t a Rap Problem, It’s an America Problem

"People don't get murdered at Jazz, Classical, R&B, EDM, etc shows. This is a rap thing." Read More
Posted 7 hours ago by Yoh

In Which I Convince You to Listen to Lecrae, Hip-Hop’s Overlooked Elite Rapper

Don't be scared by the "Christian rapper" label, bar for bar Lecrae's just as dope as elite rappers like J. Cole. Read More
Posted 8 hours ago by Nathan S.

Holy Sh*t You Need to Hear This Bernz & Jarren Benton “Outta My Brain”

Strange Music's Bernz just came through with the rap anthem to set your summer off right. You need to hear this. Read More
Posted 9 hours ago by Lucas G.

The Gone But Not Forgotten Rap Group I Thought Might Make It

How the rise and fall of one Atlanta collective further proved the uncertainty of the music industry. Read More
Posted 13 hours ago by Yoh




Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.