This Detroit-area guitarist deftly weaves the blues with a grown-up contemporary sound, which aint an easy thing to do. Al-Saadis deep, gritty voice resonates through this collection of smooth songs as if he has lived far beyond his 27 years, and his restrained guitar playing is powerful without trampling the tunes.
The songwriting is varied too; when Al-Saadi steps out of his blues shoes, he bounces from an acoustic ballad reminiscent of Blind Faith (In Time) to pleasing and catchy pop (Everything). His love of soul shines on the silky If, and his guitar soloing carries subtle jazz undertones on Who Turned Out the Lights? But the velvety flow of album opener Breathe and the grave strut of Mystified show that blues is what makes Al-Saadis soul sing. Heres a skilled yet relatively unnoticed singer-songwriter; a Long Time Coming indeed.
Gary Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].