- SPIN Rating: of 10
The heyday of soul sincerity minus the corn is long over, but Anthony Hamilton nevertheless generates disarming warmth while straddling the thin line between traditionalism and timelessness. This churchy-not-preachy Charlotte, North Carolina-raised, Harlem-based crooner is a master at grown-man's R&B because his humility runs as deep as his dignity. Like thehit "So in Love," a duet with Jill Scott, Hamilton's fifth and most finessed album brings uplifting vibes to quotidian dramas: He lets his fidelity slip on the Babyface-assisted "Pray for Me," then promises to be "so good even Oprah would be jealous of you." Mixing stately story ballads with Cee-Lo-esque uptempo jams, Back to Love presents songwriting substance as style, and although that might not be flashy, it's mighty refreshing.