What falsetto-leaning soul singer Raphael Saadiq lacks in vocal stamina, he makes up for with stellar songwriting and genre-bending musicianship. The former Tony! Toni! Tone!
frontman capitalizes on his strengths on this double-disc live set, recorded at the Los Angeles House of Blues during Saadiq's tour to promote his critically acclaimed but poor-selling 2002 solo debut, Instant Vintage
. With a fresh sound that pays homage to Hendrix-inspired rock, old-school soul, and gospel, Saadiq hits the mark on the funky "Excuse Me"; a rousing rendition of "Different Times," featuring talented up-and-coming singers Ledisi and Goapele; and a nostalgic, seven-song set performed by the Tonys, who reunited for this recording and deliver swoon-worthy renditions of "Lay Your Head on My Pillow" and "Anniversary." Although his short-lived collaboration with the "super-group" Lucy Pearl
(featuring En Vogue
's Dawn Robinson and A Tribe Called Quest
's Ali Shaheed Muhammad) suggests otherwise, Saadiq clearly isn't afraid to share the spotlight, a fact he further demonstrates by lending the mike to outlandish soul singer Joi, who performs "Missing You" from her underrated Star Kitty's Revenge
. All the Hits at the House of Blues
makes for a riveting musical experience that ushers listeners front-and-center for a dynamic evening of inventive soul.