Like Little Jackie and Santogold before him, R&B lifer Raphael Saadiq has seen the writing on the funhouse wall cordoning off “urban” from the “mainstream.” To wit: Courtesy of Amy Winehouse’s (and now Duffy’s) tainted love for soul and the heyday of girl groups, this season’s move must be retro. Considering this mummery’s triumph, one must wonder anew what happens to a (creative) dream deferred? Saadiq’s new project, The Way I See It, is fine and sure to engage . . . but so is Solange Knowles’s more lightweight Hadley St. Dreams thang. Just a mite disappointing that the premier guru of “neo-soul” should retreat a few sonic steps shy of the Mountaintop.
Tue., Sept. 30, 7 p.m., 2008