Anthony David

The Powerful Now

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For his first album in four years, and his debut for the Shanachie label, Anthony David Harrington met back up with Eddie Stokes, a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer who was with him at the beginning of his career. They don't retrace any steps, though, as The Powerful Now moves forward with some energized stylistic change-ups that might throw some longtime listeners. "I Don't Mind" and "Out of My League," both of which place a specific object of affection on a pedestal, respectively tap into Afrobeat and melodic hard rock. Harrington also covers 311's affectionate ballad "Amber," a minor hit for the band in early 2002, in a breezy style with feathery acoustic guitar and booming bass. There isn't a hint of desperation, like Harrington is dabbling simply because he's out of ideas. All of it sounds like him, his slightly rasping baritone present and steady as ever, whether he's delivering a street hustler's theme, beaming about kicking back with family, or settling into a serious relationship. The album truly hits its stride toward the end with excellent, sophisticated soul duets with Reesa Renee and Carmen Rodgers. (The latter song originally appeared on Rodgers' 2015 album Stargazer.) This is among Harrington's most enjoyable work.

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