Self Portrait

Self Portrait

by Lalah HathawayLalah Hathaway


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Had Lalah Hathaway's third and fourth solo albums been separated by a gap in time equal to the one between her second and third, Self Portrait would not have come out until 2014. But it arrived six years earlier, in time for her to connect with the rejuvenated Stax label, home of Angie Stone. The set reunites Hathaway with Rex Rideout, the producer/songwriter who worked with the singer on "Forever, for Always, for Love," the title cut of the Luther Vandross tribute album that appeared in 2004. Rideout is the primary collaborator, with his input on half of the songs, while kindred spirits Rahsaan Patterson and Sandra St. Victor also contribute to a handful of tracks. More mellow and unified than 2004's Outrun the Sky, the album maintains a steady flow, whether the backdrops feature midtempo dance rhythms and horns, deep basslines and finger snaps, or acoustic guitars and glistening keyboards. Nothing is bound to jump out of the speakers and pull you around the room, but there's an unshakable lingering effect with nearly every song. More than anything, the album helps bring back the art of the subtly seductive slow jam, despite the lyrical range, which covers personal issues almost as frequently as relationships. Slowest and most stunning is the closer, "Tragic Inevitability," co-produced with Manuel Hugas, Wiboud Burkens, and Anthony Jeffries; it's a breakup song ("It hurts me so/And I will not be consoled"), but no one will be doing any kind of separating while the song is within earshot. In the liners, check the random jabs at vocalists who, unlike Hathaway herself, require studio enhancements: "Pitch is the new black"; "Auto tune this!" She uses some effects of her own here, but they are used for effect, not as a corrective device. In total control of her voice at all times, she has never been prone to showing off for the sake of it, so it is easy to not fully appreciate just how exceptional she is.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/03/2008
Label: Stax
UPC: 0888072303089
catalogNumber: 30308

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lalah Hathaway   Primary Artist
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Larry Corbett   Cello
Darrell Crooks   Guitar
Melvin Davis   Bass
Joel Derouin   Violin,Concert Master
Brandon Fields   Saxophone
Nick Lane   Trombone
Marcus Miller   Fretless Bass Guitar
Rex Rideout   Keyboards
Lee Thornburg   Trumpet
Albert Wing   Saxophone
Craig Brockman   Keyboards
Rahsaan Patterson   Vocals
Suzie Katayama   Conductor,Leader
Taj Jackson   Vocals
Tim Carmon   Keyboards
Marlon Williams   Bass,Guitar
Charlie Campagna   Guitar
Michael Ripoll   Acoustic Guitar
Manuel Hugas   Bass
Paula Gallitano   Keyboards,Synthesizer Bass
Alyssa Park   Violin
Andrew Duckles   Viola
Errol Cooney   Guitar
Keith Wilkins   Drums
Steve Richards   Cello
Cyril Directie   Drums
Mario de León   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola

Technical Credits

Lalah Hathaway   Composer,Producer,Art Conception
Ray Bardani   Engineer
Larry Corbett   Principal
Kenneth Crouch   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Nick Lane   Horn Arrangements
Eric Larson   Lighting Director
Jimi Randolph   Engineer
Rex Rideout   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Sandra St. Victor   Composer
Craig Brockman   Composer
Rahsaan Patterson   Composer
Suzie Katayama   Orchestration
Raymond A. Shields   Executive Producer,Management
Michael C. Ross   Engineer
Marlon Williams   Composer
John Lathan   Production Director
Marc Green   Engineer,Percussion Engineer
Michael Ripoll   Composer
Manuel Hugas   Composer,Producer
Paula Gallitano   Composer,Producer
Andrew Duckles   Principal
Matt Taylor   Art Direction
Terrace Martin   Composer
Andre "Bokie" Edwards   Composer

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