Before Anthony Hamilton earned six Grammy nominations and lent his vocal performance to the Nappy Roots hit ” Po ‘ Folks” in 2002, the Charlotte, North Carolina-born soul singer had to overcome a pair of underdeveloped record deals that left two albums unreleased.
Hamilton’s rough career start began in 1995 when his debut album for Uptown Records, XTC, was shelved, a casualty of the label’s financial trouble. That same impressive album was eventually released one year later on MCA Records, but didn’t gain the attention that it deserved. Now Atlantic/Rhino Records comes to the rescue of Hamilton ‘s other lost work on the album SOULIFE.
After the release of XTC in 1996 and before Comin’ From Where I’m From on Arista Records sold over a million copies and spent more than 75 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 chart, Hamilton recorded a full album for Soulife Records that went unreleased.
The tale of the lost SOULIFE sessions began in 1999 when Hamilton joined Soulife, a Los Angeles-based record label. As fellow Soulife artist Sunshine Anderson climbed the charts with her debut album, Your Woman, in 2001, it appeared as though the label would be in a good position to push Hamilton and his new recordings over the top. But his label’s grim financial realities intervened once again as Soulife folded, leaving Hamilton ‘s recording efforts in limbo. Until now…
Cowritten by Hamilton , SOULIFE includes songs recorded with veteran producers such as Grammy-winner Mark Sparks. These songs showcase the singer’s amazing ability to establish a mood with just a few notes. Reminiscent of Bill Withers’ style, Hamilton ‘s smooth and precise delivery provides soulful depth to the sensual rhythms of SOULIFE. In “Ball And Chain” Hamilton demonstrates his remarkable vocal ability while expressing the longing desire to break free from life’s speedy track and move towards a simpler life of happiness. The album also features a duet with Grammy-winner Macy Gray on the ballad “Love And War”-a song first released on the Baby Boy soundtrack. Despite its delayed arrival, the resurrection of Anthony Hamilton’s SOULIFE proves to have been well worth the wait.
Track listing for SOULIFE:
1. “I Used To Love Someone”
2. “I Cry”
4. “Georgie Parker”
5. “Day Dreamin'”
6. “Ball And Chain”
7. “Ol’ Keeper”
8. “Love And War” (Featuring Macy Gray)
9. “Last Night” (Featuring Sunshine Anderson & Dolo Pichino)
10. “Love Is So Complicated”
11. “Icing On The Cake”