Published Aug 24, 2016In the press release for his fifth album and first for label Shanachie, Anthony David states that The Powerful Now "pushes the boundaries of R&B." It's certainly the Atlanta-based artist's most stylistically adventurous offering to date, finding the oft-underrated David adding elements of EDM, Afrobeat and rock to his sonic palette. The question remains though: Is the experimentation justifiably rewarded?
Well, yes and no. The axe-shredding on the rough and tumble funk rocker "Out of My League" is an ideal counterpoint to David's buttery baritone, resulting in a slice of gritty and soulful finesse. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the mediocre Afrobeat/EDM hybrid "I Don't Mind," which aims for club transcendence but comes off as overly calculated and will have longtime fans longing for the Anthony David of old, the one that drew comparisons to the late Terry Callier.
Luckily, he's still here. When David widens his sonic scope on cuts like the atmospheric "Beautiful Problem," the acoustic glow of "Amber" and the streetwise and cinematic, Curtis Mayfield-indebted "Ride On," The Powerful Now truly shines. (Shanachie)