With ‘The Point Of It All’ Anthony Hamilton’s Soul Is On Fire


It is the belief of many that Anthony Hamilton can do no wrong vocally. His voice takes us back to a time when music was a little bit more real...more raw...more right. We feel him on a level that other male R&B artists are still aspiring to. However, it is the untrained ear that reduces Hamilton's sound to "throwback music." Many of his most notable recordings have plenty of thump, along with other production elements that create a wonderful blend of the old and new, all without bubbling under in the abyss that is neo-soul.

On his new album, The Point Of It All, we see and hear Anthony
Hamilton expanding the lane that he has created for himself.
Strikingly, the album begins with "The News," which offers plenty of
socio-political and spiritual commentary, along the lines of Curtis Mayfield and the best of the Philadelphia International oeuvre. Producer Mark Batson (Alicia Keys, Nas, Beyoncé)
worked on this tune and several others, providing much lift to tracks
throughout the album. While it is a well-executed and hard-hitting lead
track, it does not mesh well with the balance of the record.

Outside of the album opener, we discover that the rest of the song
cycle follows the arc of a relationship. Things are light and sweet on
"The Day We Met" and first single "Cool," which features David Banner in
rare form. Rightfully so, we then find the meat of the album in the
center, anchored by a pair of mid-tempo tracks: "Hard to Breathe" and
the agonizing and beat-heavy "Soul's On Fire." You are all but dared
not to feel Anthony as he spills his angst. We are quickly reminded
that Hamilton artfully draws from the dark places almost as well as
anyone in the game. Listening to the record, it seems that Hamilton
kept his writing hand strong between projects. On the ballads "Please
Stay" and the emotive "Her Heart," there is such a tender vulnerability
that never surrenders to saccharine. Anthony Hamilton gives us that
grit, but it goes down ever so easy.

The Point Of It All is an album that reminds you that being in
love, while never easy, is worth it. The songs here can help one endure
the tough times that relationships can bring, but also speak on the
restorative powers that love holds. Putting this album on might help
you get over it, through it, or back in it.

Anthony Hamilton The Point Of It All [Amazon][iTunes]

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14 Responses

  1. Solid, solid album! It's been in my cd changer since it's release. And might I add that the ballads bring me back to those "blue lights in the basement" parties. Grindin' for days!

  2. I hate to rain on this glowing review of Anthony Hamilton's latest, but I really didn't feel for it. If anything, it was a collection of songs that sounded as though they didn't make it onto his previous albums. And before the hater love erupts, I actually loved most of Anthony's work previous to this. This album just really could have been a forum to showcase some alternate sounds for him.
    Despite my opinion, Anthony was pretty solid in concert this past December, although I could have done without his wife singing two songs that did not fit the romantic scope of the concert.

  3. I really like this cd. But there are some missteps.
    I could have done w/o David Banner on "Cool". I skip past his part.
    "She's Gone" is probably the worst "bonus" track I've ever heard. The lyrics are trite, the beat sounds very FisherPrice MyFirstBeatmaker... it's just awful. Not the way to end a CD. It's a bonus I could have done without.
    "I Did It Fo' Sho" -- it's OK. Usually a skipper.
    The rest... I really enjoy. "Her Heart" is the star of the CD. I root for AH... I hope he does well.

  4. This album lacked the griity soulfulness of his previous albums. I have tried and tried to make myself like this album but I cant. This album is not what I have come to expect. I will give him a past because he still is one of the top 3 brothers doing R&B, but his next album better be more like his first 2:-)

  5. This isn't Anthony's best album by far, but I still like it. I think his voice can make me like anything though! LOL

  6. I agree with most the comments so far, in that this isn't his best release to date. He is one of my favourite artists and his previous releases have been in CONSTANT rotation for months, however i find it hard to get into this album.
    The ballads are strong but if i'm in the mood for some 'southern soul' i would choose one of his earlier albums over this on every occasion.
    * Just a note that i would still choose this album over 99% of stuff released by other male R&B artists over the last couple of years.

  7. Love this man's voice, but the material definetly sounds like cutting room floor..That's alright, Ain't No Body Worryin' is still classic.

  8. Avatar

    This album is awesome! I love it! There are only 1 or 2 songs I wasn't feeling but overall it's pretty tight! I have to agree witht he glowing review... He brings it

  9. Avatar

    I just skip to 'The Day We Met' and it's on and poppin from there, as it does feel like that track is the beginning of a love story. I really enjoy the album and have played it alot since putting it on my MP3 player, but admit it's not my favorite (Ain't Nobody Worryin' gets that honor). But that's cool with me. Anyone who makes great music, sounds that good, and has consistently put out great work (minus Soulife, which I could never get into) is entitled to one here and there that doesn't totally blow me away.

  10. RJK...are you serious,
    She's Gone is one of the best bonus tracks I've heard in quite a while. What, I ask, is so "trite" about a dude's mother having to talk sense into their son that a girl is really done with him, for whatever reason. And you would be the reason why producers and artist are afraid to use off the grid instrumentation (fyi not fisher price toys) Though I'm sure you can't triple layer keys and strings as well bass with a fisher price...maybe you just focused on that piece of percussion...Artist don't take songs, or bonus tracks as lightly as you clearly did...there are a multitude of reasons behind chopping including or bonusing a track:
    "Q: One of my favorite songs on the album is She's Gone, and it's a bonus track. Is there a reason it's not on the proper album?
    A: It was going through a lot of back and forth with the production. Heavy D wanted to hear it a certain way, and the label wanted to hear it a certain way, and I wanted to hear it a certain way, and it became a headache. For a minute, I wasn't gonna use it at all because I didn't feel like the headache. But we all came to some agreement, and by that time, I had replaced it with a lot of different songs. I had moved on. And I didn't feel like Charlene, Can't Let Go, now She's Gone - I was like I can't do another one of those. I'm gonna run my people off."
    Lyrically Anthony is unparalleled, I just think the industry and fans need to have their sensibilities opened and expanded. It's like Tiger Woods (yeah I know) he hit's great shots but his legacy is nothing without course management, meaning the proper choice of shot for the situation. Jazmine Sullivan has achieved such, diferent elements and genres infused into music adds legs to the life of her singles. From classical to classical r&b hybrid to 50's-60's throwback, to euro-dance.
    Not saying he needs to go there, but just challenge yourself as an artist do something other people have but in your own voice...challenge you, your label and fans...
    And Dar, what if Anthony had arranged the tracks differently, album mood aside, "The News" is a slammin track from Mark Batson, and to me the rest of the tracks should have been formulated to fit that, "Soul on Fire", "Hard to Breathe" and "She's Gone" all those tracks can stand the 20 spin rule.
    If you ask me, put Heavy D, and the other geniuses at Arista on mute. Heavy's like a Kevin Willis collectin a NBA check anyway.
    "But what if mama was wrong?

  11. Funny side-note, it's ironic that HeavyD won out with his produced version of She's Gone. I still liked it.

  12. @ manamongst
    i don't really know that "The News" would have worked any better in a different album sequence. it certainly doesn't belong OFF of the album. it's a dope record, don't get me wrong.
    i liked your insights.


  14. i love this cd but my favorite sonq thats on it is her heartt it has a romantic and sad vibe to it and i can relate to it like hes apologizing for messing up andd he no he hurtt her andd he flashbacks on itt and realizies somethinq thats so good can easily slipp away.


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