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Mutlu

Livin' It

(Manhattan; US: 22 Jul 2008; UK: 4 Aug 2008)

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.

Rating:

Christian John Wikane is a NYC-based journalist and music essayist. He's a Contributing Editor for PopMatters, where he's interviewed artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Janelle Monae. For the past three years, he's penned liner notes for more than 100 CD re-issues by legends of R&B, rock, pop, dance, and jazz. Since 2008, he's produced and hosted Three of Hearts: A Benefit for The Family Center at Joe's Pub. He is the author of the five-part oral history Casablanca Records: Play It Again (PopMatters, 2009). Follow him on Twitter @CJWikaneNYC. 


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