House of Blues [Import]
Out of print in the U.S. 2004 album from the former leader of Tony Toni Tone. Raphael Saadiq has never been one to walk the safe, highly traveled R&B roads. While his compositions, dating back to his days leading the successful trio Tony Toni Tone, have always been of the smoothly palatable R&B variety, they have certainly been somewhat unorthodox, and there has always been a Prince-like unpredictability to Saadiq's career. As Ray Ray opens with a perfectly true-to-form audio 'trailer,' which fades into the groove-funk introduction to the lead character, 'Ray Ray Theme.' Saadiq also cleverly brings together all of his musical projects, as Tony Toni Tone and Lucy Pearl join together on the catchy 'Rifle Love.' Raphael Saadiq is always willing to take chances, and usually, as on the captivating Ray Ray, his efforts bear sweet fruit.