Mutlu gives soul music a good name. On Livin’ It, his excellent debut produced by T-Bone Wolk, the Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter wears his Philly-soul heart proud with a roster of guests that includes Daryl Hall, Amos Lee, G. Love and Raheem DeVaughn. Rather than upstage Mutlu, each of the vocalists complements the dulcet tones of his voice, especially when Lee joins Mutlu on “Make It There”. Even without the guests, Livin It’ sustains attention throughout the album’s ten superb tracks. “Mama’s Not Coming Home” highlights Mutlu’s honeyed terror to memorable effect. His heartfelt portrait about the sacrifices a mother makes for her children is illuminated by a winding melody and jaunty rhythm that takes an interesting stylistic detour towards the song’s conclusion. Moments like this abound on Livin’ It and confirm, indisputably, that Mutlu is among the most genuine, original talents to emerge in 2008.
// Notes from the Road
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