Released in the US last autumn, Raphael Saadiq's third studio album has been garnering the kind of love that lets you overlook his productions for Joss Stone. As a desk man, he has lent vintage soul sparkle to artists as diverse as the Roots and D'Angelo. Fronting his own songs, he slots elegantly into the retro revival. The Way I See It is both feather-light and substantial, ably aping vintage Motown. Unlike most modern records, Saadiq's tunes gather weight the deeper in you go, with feelgood ditties such as "Sure Hope You Mean It" giving way to thoughtful episodes like "Sometimes", which recalls Smokey Robinson.
Kitty Empire is the Observer's pop critic. She has written for NME and occasionally crops up on Radio 4, 5Live, BBC 6Music, and has appeared on BBC2's The Culture Show and Newsnight Review. @kittyempire666