Great New Song – Raphael Saadiq’s “Love That Girl”

About a week ago, I was sitting in a motel room, flipping through television channels late at night, when I happened upon the Tavis Smiley Show, where I watched a music performance that caught my ear. I thought about it for a couple days, then went ahead and researched it on the Internet by finding the archives for the Tavis Smiley show.

It happened to be Raphael Saadiq singing “Love That Girl”. I listened to the performance again through the website. Then I listened to it again, and again, over and over, dozens of times in the last week. It just floors me.

I’ll include three outstanding performances of this new song in this post. Here is the Tavis Smiley Show performance, the sound must be augmented with vibes and hand claps:

Mr. Saadiq is 42 years old, and has been a visible figure in pop music for almost twenty years, first with his band Tony! Toni! Tone!. It’s not surprising that he is from Oakland, California; many of my favorite music performances come from my home state.

“Love That Girl” seems to be a departure for Saadiq. A quick perusal of his work on iTunes indicates many of his songs are modern “R&B” type music, whereas “Love That Girl” is very reminiscent of Motown, with a simple guitar and bass figure repeated throughout the short pop song. Here is another performance from VH1:

“Love That Girl” finishes this three song set. Here Raphael and the two backup singers are in fully choreographed dance mode, which only adds to the excitement that the song generates.

I’ll try to explain why I love this. Right now it feels like one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time, maybe ever. I don’t remember a song affecting me so deeply. I broke down in tears of joy watching the videos at least 30 times in a row over the last week. I have to believe the pure expression of love is real, as if Mr. Saadiq has a new muse to sing about. The lyrics are so simple yet powerful.

(Edit: I listened to a interview with Saadiq on PBS, and he said that actually was not true, that he was envisioning the perfect romance with someone like Dorothy Dandridge.)

She is so (so sweet and tender!)
And I’m glad today! (so glad we made it girl!)

The intensity increases gradually, until the finishing flurry, where he repeats:

I’m in love with you baby!
I’m in love with you baby!
I’m in love with you baby!

It doesn’t hurt to have the compelling Erika Jerry smiling, dancing, and singing alongside Mr. Saadiq, who carries the beautiful melody along with a pitch perfect falsetto. The band slowly raises the stakes, building in intensity.

Another great performance is found at:

Artist’s Den Performance

Perfect dance tempo, perfect lyrics of love. Guy sees girl, girl expresses interest, girl kissses guy, guy flips head over heels in love. Is anything more important? Wow am I impressed with this song. Also check out the song called “100 Yard Dash” from the album The Way I See It.

Love That Girl, Raphael Saadiq ✭✭✭
Love That Girl (Live), Raphael Saadiq ✭✭✭✭
Love That Girl (Live), Raphael Saadiq ✭✭

100 Yard Dash, Raphael Saadiq ✭✭✭

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