Twenty-one years into his recording career, one-time Lucy Pearl and Tony! Toni! Toné! singer Raphael Saadiq has come up with the album of it.

Gleaming with vintage soul class, 'The Way I See It' mixes up the floorshakers and the ballads in such style that smiles and sighs are guaranteed on every listen - the only thing missing is the vinyl crackle.

As he's proved in the past, Saadiq can write really catchy songs; here he comes up with 12 singles in succession and should be on speed dial for many more big names very shortly.

He even has the guts to put the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to an irresistible beat on 'Big Easy' and catch you off your guard until you pay attention to the lyrics.

Could making a 'What's Going On'?-style concept record be on his mind? On this evidence there's no reason why he couldn't.

Harry Guerin