Maybe you discovered the gifted North Carolina vocalist Anthony Hamilton the same way I did, stumbling across his recent appearance on Dave Chappelle's Comedy Central joint a couple of weeks back. Or maybe you heard his guest spot on the Nappy Roots' last album. Regardless: If you're into organic r'n'b and still among the uninitiated, you owe it to yourself to get to know this kid's music. Comin' From Where I'm From is a gorgeous analog throwback soul record, the kind your girl likes to hear just before the lights go out. Not unlike our man D'Angelo (new record, please!), Hamilton is intelligent, confident and secure without any of that affected arrogance or showbiz gangsta/bully pretension. His is a simple, honest angle--first-person songs about an occasionally troubled kid growing up in a single-parent household. Preferring dirty ol' work boots, an Army jacket and a baseball hat over the typical ghetto bling uniform, Mr. Hamilton will likely never be confused with Usher or R. Kelly. Still, the music is all that matters, and this album hints at a truly important talent, perhaps even the "Next Big Thing" sneakin' in the side door, à la Kanye West or Ben Harper. And check the way he flips that country sapsucka classic "Lucille" into an ingenious drumline slow jam! Anthony Hamilton is onto something, and I betcha he's gonna be around for a while.
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