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Lalah Hathaway – Self Portrait (2008)

Posted in Music Reviews by lynn on November 18, 2008

lalah hathaway

Lalah Hathaway
Self Portrait

Official Site:
ON SALE NOW: Lalah Hathaway’s Self Portrait

To me there’s two kinds of R&B: the good and the bad. The bad consists of the same generic beats, melodies, patterns and structure. I listened to a lot of R&B back in the 90’s. Good R&B is supposed to serve as a backdrop for a romantic evening. It shouldn’t be something that becomes bothersome or has to be turned down. When done correctly, R&B is the sound that hugs you and cradles you to sleep. Lalah Hathaway is a self described soul singer who definitely falls under the “good” R&B category. Her voice is deep, soothing and pretty. And it’s no coincidence; her father was a soul singer and her mother was a classically trained vocalist. You can tell that Lalah has been singing and deeply involved with music all of her life.

On Self Portrait, Hathaway sings about the lessons she’s learned as shes grown. In “That Was Then”, Hathaway sings: “It was like a lifetime passed through my fingers. So long ago. So much that I didn’t know. Kind of like a light shined down and showed me how, gotta move on. That was then and this is now.”

Self reflection and introspection are constant themes on the album. When I listen to “Learning to Swim,” I picture Hathaway sitting by herself in a peaceful location, but instead of pure silence filled with heavy pondering, her thoughts are translated instantly into songs. It just seems to come naturally to her.

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