We all know breakups & the heartache associated with the shit. The outlandish behavior that you start to do after your main slim leaves the stable. Drinking/smoking heavily while sitting around intoxicated, telling your side of the story to anyone who’ll listen. Walking around in a stupor, alternately of “what if’s” & “fuck that bitch/nigga.” Messing around with less than dimes. Even if you do find a suitable replacement, you still find yourself picking apart their shortcomings because “you’re not them.” That “steel stomach ache” that pains your sleep, sometimes even your waking moments.
Anthony Hamilton always manages to cap that bottom-feeling.
He did it on his debut album with “I’m A Mess,” “Lucille” and “Charlene.” Now, he’s coming back to that same desperate place with the song “Hard To Breathe” from the album The Point Of It All. When the song opens, my mind’s picture sees him standing in a doorway, trying to his best to close the door while his heart’s puppetmaster tugs at the strings of his right mind & emotions. Equal parts begging for freedom, a call to a reservoir of strength in attempts to break himself from his captor. “Losing sleep for days, the distractions that you made, keepin me from moving on, piecing back my life.” He takes us to church around the three minute mark as the rhythmic, rolling keys of the piano step up to reinforce the lyrics, giving more force to his words & pleas.
Furthermore, let me just go out on what looks to be a sturdy limb & say this much — A.Hamilton is simply the male counterpart to Alicia Keys, on some Cal Ripken Jr. shit. Each time out, they both spread their wings a little further the music they create, but maintain a level of output & quality music that’s unrivaled. The both manage to always incorporate new instruments & sounds, taking the listener to a place that leaves them bored or uncomfortable. The subject matter & songwriting stays safely within the confines of R&B, but the music as a whole does not. The more I listen to The Point…, the more I have to give the man his just due. It’s not often that I say that an album is all the way worth hitting a retail store for on a Tuesday. But this one, this one is.