ANTHONY DAVID: Three Chords And The Truth (Label: Dome)

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ANTHONY DAVID: Three Chords And The Truth

Last year, guitar-toting neo-soul troubadour, Anthony David – a modern day Bill Withers perhaps – won rave reviews in the UK for his sophomore album, ‘Red Clay Chronicles.’ To capitalise on David’s newfound and well-deserved cachet in the European marketplace, Dome have just issued the Georgia singer/songwriter’s 2004 debut, originally issued on Stateside indie label, Brash. Though not as accomplished, perhaps, as David’s most recent opus, it’s a worthwhile release and deserves a wider audience. Here, it’s easy to see why the Bill Withers comparisons have been plentiful – David’s husky, blues-tinged delivery possesses a slightly conversational, back-woods mannerism that’s reminiscent of Withers’ laconic storytelling style. Both melodically and in terms of their subject matter, some of the songs – especially ‘Spittin’ Game’ and the bare-boned ‘Cold Turkey’ – sound like Withers’ outtakes from the early ’70s. Despite this, David is unequivocally his own man, and has filtered his influences through his own sensibility to produce music that is familiar and new at the same time. The opener, ‘Yes,’ is one of the strongest cuts, and is distinguished by a subtle jazz shadings, closely followed by ‘GA Peach,’ which welds some hip-hop-style verses and horns onto an old school rhythmic feel (a la Bill Withers’ ‘Use Me’). David also ventures into socio-political commentary about racist police with ‘Krooked Kop,’ though lyrically it’s one of the album’s weaker numbers. Overall, though, this is a solid contemporary soul album from a singer who seems set to accomplish even bigger and brighter things.
(CW) 4/5