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R&B/Soul - Released December 12, 2008 | So So Def

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R&B - Released March 25, 2016 | RCA Records Label

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Four years and three months is a long time to go without an Anthony Hamilton album. Once Back to Love faded from view, there was a Christmas release, side appearances on cuts by Big K.R.I.T., Nas, and Rick Ross, and a duet with Elayna Boynton recorded for the Django Unchained soundtrack. The wait for a proper album extended into early 2016. Still with RCA, as part of what was easily the strongest major-label R&B roster of the mid-2010s, Hamilton eventually returned beside co-songwriter and producer Mark Batson. The two were previously together through Comin' from Where I'm From, Ain't Nobody Worryin', and The Point of It All, a stellar trilogy of modern red-dirt soul. By the absolute slightest margin, What I'm Feelin' isn't up to that level, but its strengths are undeniable, too numerous to make the set seem like a disappointment. It starts with the clawing funk of "Save Me" (something of a full-band sequel to "Sista Big Bones"), one of those openers so effective that the temptation to hit "repeat" and skip the rest is very real. Unlike his earlier work, Hamilton here rarely dips into sorrow, instead using more of his time to express desire and gratitude. The range of backdrops is as varied as ever, from solo acoustic piano to burbling synthesizers. "I Want You," involving the latter, is a knockout machine-soul ballad, where Hamilton's falsetto howl is as wicked as ever. The two songs not produced by Batson are handled by the duo of Salaam Remi (still crediting his work to his website URL) and James Poyser, both of whom previously worked with Hamilton as well. "Amen," an ode to a woman, is a trap/gospel hybrid -- jouncing mechanical drums and percussion, organ -- that works better than it should. "Take You Home," a beaming ballad about introducing his woman to his mother, is church all the way. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released December 9, 2011 | RCA Records Label

Some of the interviews and press released in support of Anthony Hamilton's first RCA album (and sixth overall) were slightly misleading. Some readers might have been led to believe that Back to Love would offer a significant break from Hamilton's past work; the singer noted that he did not want to be pigeonholed as "the sad cat," that he was "ready to have some fun." Hamilton even talked about "taking things to the next level." Hamilton's previous release, 2008's The Point of It All, was as creative as any of his albums that came before it, and it had his highest first-week sales -- remarkable feats for a veteran, Grammy-winning artist. Regardless, Back to Love is clearly viewed as a fresh start, even though it offers no more surprises than Ain't Nobody Worryin' or The Point of It All. The lineup of collaborators is no shock, either, though longtime associate Mark Batson was not involved, and Babyface assists on three songs. Familiar names, including Salaam Remi, Kelvin Wooten, and Mike City, are more numerous than new ones. That Back to Love is not a major shake-up is not a bad thing. Most of the songs are instantly ingratiating in some way, with none of the lighter, upbeat numbers -- including the strutting, midtempo Southern soul of "Woo" and the thematically "Cool"-like blue-collar love song "Best of Me" -- the least bit out of character. There are some sad-cat moments that come very close to the standard Hamilton set with the instant classic "Charlene," led by the hushed "Life Has a Way" (produced and co-written by James Poyser), where the singer shuffles easily, if wearily, into that Bill Withers level of chilling relatability: "And my children still look up to me while their stomachs on empty/Oh, I need an angel to fall on me now." The way the song weaves Hamilton's raw, broken-spirited croon and spectral, multi-tracked melody is kind of crushing. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B/Soul - Released September 23, 2003 | Arista

After two albums recorded in the mid-'90s went unreleased and 1999's XTC was largely overlooked, former D'Angelo backup singer Anthony Hamilton's fourth bid for solo success, Comin' From Where I'm From feels more like a hard-won debut. Featuring savvy R&B production from the likes of Cedric Solomon and James Poyser of the Soulquarians, Comin' is a solid mix of organic period keyboards, guitars, and horns and cutting-edge "beats" and synthesizers. While some traditionalists may balk at the hip-hop-friendly sounds, it serves Hamilton well. Not only does it position him squarely at the forefront of the neo-soul movement, but it also allows him the aesthetic freedom to comment on a wide breadth of social and personal issues that harken back to the glory days of '70s soul without ever feeling dated. Listen to how the choir screams against Hamilton's throaty plea on "I'm a Mess," and it's hard not to think of early-'80s Prince, another artist who balanced a classic soul style with forward-thinking production. However, it is Hamilton's soft, earthy vocal style reminiscent of Bill Withers and gritty, personal lyrics evoking his youth growing up in Charlotte, NC that really carry the album. Like a more feminine-sounding D'Angelo with an eye for personal detail that would make Terry Callier envious, Hamilton's deft combination of world-weary fighter and sensitive poet plays out with both hardcore realism as on "Mama Knew Love," where he sings, "Mama knew love like the back streets/Used to wipe pee just to make the ends meet," and then urban humor on "Cornbread, Fish & Collard Greens," in which he wryly proclaims, "If you want it (I can rock your world)/If you want it (I put the juice in Jheri Curl)." Comin' from where anybody comes from, this is a great album. ~ Matt Collar
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R&B/Soul - Released June 14, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Once 2004's Comin' From Where I'm From began to gather steam, it became common knowledge that Anthony Hamilton was no newcomer. New fans discovered that Hamilton had two other albums in his past. First, there was XTC, an album that was supposed to come out around 1995 but didn't see the light of day due the Uptown label's untimely death; MCA rescued it, released it, and were content with letting it slide into oblivion. Good luck finding a copy. Later on, Hamilton became affiliated with the family-like Soulife label, which disintegrated before he was able to release yet another album. Talk about rotten luck. The appropriately titled Soulife, released by Atlantic/Rhino in 2005, presents ten (and perhaps all) of the songs that were due for release on the album for Soulife, in addition two previously released songs, including "Love and War," from the Baby Boy soundtrack. According to the liners and credits, the material was originally laid down between 1999 and 2001, but several songs were re-recorded and tweaked, likely to make them sound a little more like 2005. As evidenced on Comin' From Where I'm From, Hamilton's voice is best suited for spare arrangements with dusty beats, sensitively played keyboards, and distant wah-wah guitars. Soulife is comparatively slick, which might throw some of Hamilton's newer fans, but there's still plenty of down-home grit to keep ears glued to the speakers, in addition to the main attraction -- the earthy, listen-to-it-all-day voice. While not as wonderful as Comin' From Where I'm From, "Georgie Parker" alone makes the album a must for anyone won over by "Charlene." The song will break your heart and sink into your subconscious with one play, even if you aren't paying any attention to the compelling lyrics. After the first listen -- one of those "Everyone I know must hear this right now" moments -- you'll feel like you've pulled up a golden truffle. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released November 22, 2005 | So So Def

After enduring ten years of busted label deals and other forms of neglect, Anthony Hamilton finally caught a break. Though 2003's Comin' from Where I'm From only threatened to crack the Top 30, it became a steady seller on the back of the slow and lean "Charlene" -- a risky pick for a single since it sounded nothing like "Yeah!," "Lean Back," or any of the ballads that were getting rotation on R&B stations at the time -- and eventually went platinum. A disc of previously unreleased recordings, Soulife, debuted near the Top Ten in mid-2005 and made it clear that Hamilton had become a major artist with a hungry following to prove it. Ain't Nobody Worryin' will enhance his rep. Had "Charlene" flopped, the album might've come out a little different -- perhaps a little more pop, with a couple guest MCs and some bouncier beats -- but it's even more organic and individualistic than its predecessor. It's also more poignant. Despite what it looks like, the sentiment in the album's title and song of the same name is a world apart from Bobby McFerrin's carefree "Don't Worry, Be Happy": as Hamilton lays it out, people are either too resigned to their problems or too caught up in them to worry. This seriousness transfers to "Preacher's Daughter," a criticism of preachers who are too occupied to take care of their own, as well as the opening "Where Did It All Go Wrong," a breakup song that's as stunned (and nearly as stunning) as Bill Withers' "Hope She'll Be Happier." There's also "Never Love Again," the kind of heartbroken ballad that's potent and sweet enough to sadden someone who's in a completely different situation. But all of this only covers one third of a well-rounded album that's as generous in its expressions of optimism, faith, and lasting love. With spiritual songs both personal ("Pass Me Over") and universal ("Everybody," simultaneously a convincing reggae jam), Hamilton extends his reach with confidence, and easygoing songs like "Southern Stuff," "Sista Big Bones," "The Truth," and "Change Your World" give the album more depth. Studio do-it-all Mark Batson is a regular presence again, while Dre & Vidal, James Poyser, Raphael Saadiq, Ahmir Thompson, and Kevin Wooten help out in smaller capacities, giving Hamilton more modernized '70s-soul backdrops that ideally complement the singer's ruggedly smooth voice. Regardless of the decade you're living in, this is an album to live with. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released December 9, 2011 | RCA Records Label

Some of the interviews and press released in support of Anthony Hamilton's first RCA album (and sixth overall) were slightly misleading. Some readers might have been led to believe that Back to Love would offer a significant break from Hamilton's past work; the singer noted that he did not want to be pigeonholed as "the sad cat," that he was "ready to have some fun." Hamilton even talked about "taking things to the next level." Hamilton's previous release, 2008's The Point of It All, was as creative as any of his albums that came before it, and it had his highest first-week sales -- remarkable feats for a veteran, Grammy-winning artist. Regardless, Back to Love is clearly viewed as a fresh start, even though it offers no more surprises than Ain't Nobody Worryin' or The Point of It All. The lineup of collaborators is no shock, either, though longtime associate Mark Batson was not involved, and Babyface assists on three songs. Familiar names, including Salaam Remi, Kelvin Wooten, and Mike City, are more numerous than new ones. That Back to Love is not a major shake-up is not a bad thing. Most of the songs are instantly ingratiating in some way, with none of the lighter, upbeat numbers -- including the strutting, midtempo Southern soul of "Woo" and the thematically "Cool"-like blue-collar love song "Best of Me" -- the least bit out of character. There are some sad-cat moments that come very close to the standard Hamilton set with the instant classic "Charlene," led by the hushed "Life Has a Way" (produced and co-written by James Poyser), where the singer shuffles easily, if wearily, into that Bill Withers level of chilling relatability: "And my children still look up to me while their stomachs on empty/Oh, I need an angel to fall on me now." The way the song weaves Hamilton's raw, broken-spirited croon and spectral, multi-tracked melody is kind of crushing. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released July 3, 2015 | Music Club

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R&B - Released October 17, 2014 | RCA Records Label

Joined by guests Chaka Khan, Gavin DeGraw, and ZZ Ward, Anthony Hamilton delivers a mostly upbeat mix of original material and renditions of traditional secular and religious Christmas-themed songs. Hamilton co-wrote six of the 14 songs on Home for the Holidays, including the romping, Motown-inspired "Spend Christmas with You" and the contemporary gospel ballad "Spirit of Love." The singer adds his typically hospitable tones to each of the selections, whether it's a faithful version of James Brown's "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto" or an energized spin on "Little Drummer Boy." This is more imaginative and festive than the average Christmas album. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released March 18, 2016 | RCA Records Label

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Pop - Released January 1, 2007 | Unknown

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R&B - Released January 1, 2007 | MEROVINGIAN (MRV)

Anthony Hamilton is one of the leading lights of the neo-soul movement. And while it's easy to call his music retro given a vocal style that recalls Bill Withers and a rootsy yet modern-sounding production aesthetic clearly indebted to Stevie Wonder, Hamilton is more a product of his own tireless vision than of any sort of old-school fetishism. Although Hamilton tasted success a few times early in his career, he jumped from label to label and maintained a side career as a writer and backup singer. He's had a comfortable home with Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label since 2003, yet 2007's Southern Comfort proves that creating deep, organic soul has been the singer's M.O. since day one, as this album is, remarkably, his second collection of older, previously unreleased material. That his vaults are this stacked speaks volumes to Hamilton's talent.
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R&B - Released September 17, 2008 | So So Def

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R&B - Released September 16, 2008 | So So Def

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R&B - Released March 4, 2016 | RCA Records Label

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R&B - Released January 22, 2016 | RCA Records Label

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Woo

R&B/Soul - Released October 14, 2011 | RCA Records Label

Soul - Released November 22, 2005 | Jive

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R&B - Released October 20, 2008 | So So Def

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