The sleek, funky, sensual neo-soul vibes of Musiq Soulchild groove their way all over his sixth studio recording, MusiqInTheMagiq. Even after a number of hit records, the Philly singer/songwriter hasn't hit the stratosphere in terms of mainstream popularity.
MusiqInTheMagiq rides the funky train through a series of easy songs that call back to his contemporary R&B roots. While there's nothing here that reinvents the proverbial wheel, Musiq is smooth enough to make it all go off like clockwork.
As the follow-up to 2008's OnMyRadio, the spacebar hater's MusiqInTheMagiq delves into casual, conversational lyricism over smooth, oft-jazzy beats and soundscapes.
The first track on the record is a slight departure, however. Together with Swizz Beatz, Musiq Soulchild takes to "Anything" with a club-ready disco beat and a rap interlude from the Bronx-born producer/rapper/DJ. Musiq's vocals are silky and the cut feels like a throwback to 90s R&B.
"Single" is probably my favourite track. It's a song about remaining faithful. Musiq expresses refreshing fidelity, remarking that the girl he met at the gas station is beautiful but he's not available. "It's nice to meet you," he sings, "but I just gotta go." Dramatic synth backs the traditional neo-soul track and gives it some extra oomph floating into the bridge.
MusiqInTheMagiq is thankfully free of much of the crassness the genre can sometimes deliver. Like Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman, an excellent genre record in its own right, this album celebrates the concept of love in its purest romantic form.
Tracks like "Yes" and "WaitingStill" tackle elements of lasting love in ways that some might find mundane. Those who know, however, realize fully that there's nothing dull about spending every waking moment, working or sleeping or goofing off, with the One.
For an album of smooth, lights-low R&B and soul music, Musiq's MusiqInTheMagiq is hard to beat. While it's not a classic, it's a suave, mellow, hip, cool recording that should grease the wheels for a romantic evening in.