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Musiq Soulchild @ Yoshi's Oakland 

Wednesday, Jul 20 2016
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Musiq Soulchild is a neo-soul singer with a penchant for lowercase letters, conjoining words, and persuading women to be his friend. That might sound creepy, but listen to his music — or read his book, 143 - Love According to Musiq — and you'll realize that he's anything but. Rather, Soulchild is startlingly polite and often starts his songs — which have titles like "Just Friends," "b.u.d.d.y.," and "befriends" — with courteous refrains, such as "Let me know if I'm out of order" and "Pardon, darling, if I alarmed ya / I don't mean to bother you." As he sings in "Halfcrazy," a fluttery, soul-steeped track underlaid with a sample from the French composer Francis Lai, his goal is not to jump in the sack. In fact, he "never thought that we would ever be more than friends" to begin with. Soulchild does have a bit of edge though, or at least a learning curve. You can hear it in "Miss You," his R&B cover of the 1978 Rolling Stones song of the same name, when he realizes by the track's end that he won't actually "Miss you girl / Cuz you been messin up my mind / And wasting my time." Which is to say, Soulchild might revel in being mushy, but the dude's still got a spine.

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Jessie Schiewe

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