For all the posturing on erstwhile Tony! Toni! Tonè! and Lucy Pearl crooner Raphael Saadiq's latest solo release, The Way I See It, from the monochromatic Blue Note send-up cover photo to the thick-rimmed, vintage spectacles he's sporting in i, the Sam Cooke-and-Motown-fashioned soul collages inside reek of heartfelt sincerity. Sure, Saadiq slips up here and there, cracking his voice a little too modernly or underdoing the reverb on the snare, but even he knows that too much pageantry makes for a pretty boring Renaissance fair.
Sat., March 21, 9 p.m., 2009