By Special to the Daily World
It’s always exciting when an established artist isn’t afraid to reinvent themselves. In the case of R&B songstress Lalah Hathaway, this sort of “creative rebirth” is the inspiration for her sixth solo studio album “Where It All Begins,” which will be released on October 18, 2011.
The album represents a passion project for Hathaway as she looks to reconnect with herself as an artist in her quest to create something fresh and beautiful for her fans. As Hathaway says herself , “Everybody is an artist in some way. For me it meant walking into being the artist I’ve always wanted to be. It was an opportunity for me to embrace my
independence as an artist through my music and connection to my fans.”
The new album contains several up-tempo gems that¹ll surely heat up urban radio stations and nightclubs such as “If You Want To,” the album’s thumping, synth-driven first single, penned with Patterson, Richmond, and Lilly; the effervescent “My Everything,” which she co-wrote with Jonathan Richmond and “Small of My Back,” a slinky steeper groove, written by Hutson, Jr. The variation heard on this album keeps it exciting.
Recruiting such top-tier songwriters some of whom have penned hits for Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Bilal, Babyface, Musiq Soulchild, and host of others, demonstrates Hathaway¹s long-held status in contemporary R&B.
Without a doubt, Lalah Hathaway carries on her father¹s legacy (Donny Hathaway) through her singing style, however this album shows variance is a rather nice surprise. Hathaway was still a child when her legendary father died. Yet through his landmark albums and undeniable influence on generations of singers
worldwide, she speaks of him as a guiding light, especially when it comes to interpreting other people¹s music.
“Where It All Begins” comes on the heels of Hathaway¹s most successful album to date, 2008¹s Self Portrait, her first record for legendary soul label Stax Records. The album reached the top ten on the Top R&B
albums chart and included the Grammy nominated vocal for the song “That Was Then.”