In the world of R&B, few current artists have the clout and resume of Anthony Hamilton. A native of North Carolina, Hamilton traveled to New York in the early '90s to pursue a music career. The singer eventually landed a contract with Andre Harrell's Uptown Records. Despite releasing an underwhelming debut album while with the label, he did parlay his stay at Uptown into songwriting gigs, lending his pen to hit songs like Donell Jones' "U Know What's Up" and many others.
Landing a spot on D'Angelo's Voodoo tour in 2000, the exposure was just the opportunity that Hamilton needed to put in motion the making of his comeback album, Comin' from Where I'm From. After gaining recognition with his standout performance on Nappy Roots' 2002 hit single, "Po' Folks," Hamilton dropped his second album, Comin' from Where I'm From in 2003.
Powered by the title-track and follow-up single, "Charlene," the collection reached platinum status and took Hamilton from unsung bench player to budding star.
On December 13, 2005, Hamilton unleashed his third studio effort, Ain't Nobody Worryin'. The LP was well-received and sold 112,000 copies in its first week of release. The album would fail to reach the same heights as Comin' from Where I'm From on a commercial level, but it's a respected body of work by many R&B purists.
Ten years after its release, we take a look back at Hamilton's underrated album and selected the five best songs from the collection.
"Never Love Again" sees Anthony Hamilton pouring his heart out over light drums and organ keys. On the song, the crooner laments about a lost love and makes it sound as heart-wrenching as the ordeal actually feels. "How could I ever had what I felt / How could you ever say you never knew / All along it was there on my mind, in my heart / It was the feeling of love," he sings. "Never Love Again" is one of the standout ballads on the collection.
Hamilton shines brightly on the song "Everybody," which sees the singer infusing some reggae riddims into his vintage brand of soul. Lyrics like "We have seen some things in our lives / We've had some long and sorrow roads / That's why I know it's all right to cry / Go on and ease the heavy load" are full of hope and makes "Everybody" one of the album's standout tracks.
Pleasant piano keys greet you on the mid-tempo song,"The Truth." On the track, Hamilton promises to make sure his lady is happy and secure. "You must feel safe when you fall in love," he sings over the Dre & Vidal-produced beat. The song is sleek and smooth as any ballad featured on Ain't Nobody Worryin'.
The veteran singer-songwriter cooks up a gritty offering with the title track and the result is nothing short of quality. Crooning "Ain't nobody worryin' when the shots fly high and the sirens start to ring / Ain't nobody worryin' when the kids die young and the mother is suffering," Hamilton speaks to the heart of the ghetto, conveying the pain and sorrow with his rich vocals in a way that few can.
The main event on Ain't Nobody Worryin' is, undoubtedly, the LP's kick-off single, "Can't Let Go." On the organ-driven ballad, the North Carolina native passionately conveys a never say die attitude towards his relationship. Co-written by Hamilton and Mark Batson and produced by Batson, "Can't Let Go" peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart. Although the song wasn't a radio smash, it's one of Hamilton's greatest vocal performances of his career to date.
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