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Raul Midon

State Of Mind

Manhattan Records

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Raul Midon - State of Mind
Raul Midon - Slap Attack
1 State of Mind 3:23  
2 If Your Gonna Leave 3:52  
3 Keep on Hoping 4:33  
4 Mystery Girl 4:21  
5 Waited All My Life 4:36  
6 Everybody 4:00  
7 Expressions of Love 2:49  
8 Sittin' In the Middle 3:32  
9 Suddenly 3:32  
10 Never Get Enough 3:45  
11 Sunshine 4:34  
12 I Would Do Anything 3:34  
13 All in Your Mind 3:18  
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It's rare that an artist arrives onto the pop music scene so fully loaded with the kind of hit-making potential that singer-composer-guitarist Raul Midon possesses. The New Mexico-born, New York-based Midon makes his recording debut with State of Mind, produced by Arif Mardin and Joe Mardin for Manhattan Records. The 13-track collection of Midon originals is a remarkable collection of soul, R&B, pop, folk, jazz and Latin. The CD places on display his earnest, lyrical songwriting; full-bodied vocals steeped in soul; a singular syncopated, flamenco- and jazz-infused acoustic guitar style; a unique vocal trumpet improvisation; and hopeful disposition.

As for working with the Mardin's, Midon says, "We're coming from the same place. Arif is really into melody and comes from a jazz background, but with a firm foot in pop. I love good melodies and lyrical hooks, but I'm also musically trying to play something interesting. Joe is versed in all aspects of the recording process, from the notes to the sounds.  That is to say he knows what mic to use to get a particular kind of guitar sound.  He has the vision, discipline and training to bring out the best in the studio and you know that when you are done you will have something that sounds superb."

State of Mind is a revelation. The CD not only trains the spotlight on Midon's buoyant delivery, but also boasts a guest roster featuring Stevie Wonder (a guest harmonica performance on  "Expressions of Love") and Jason Mraz (a vocal duet on their collaborative song, the reggae-inflected "Keep on Hoping").  In addition there are contributions from Latin jazz flutist Dave Valentin and percussionist Sammy Figueroa (on the Afro-Cuban sizzling "I Would Do Anything."), harmonica ace Gregoire Maret and percussionist Cyro Baptista (on the exuberant "Sunshine") and jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris, who performs on the sublime "All in Your Mind." This last song is Mid n's way of opening a window on what it's like to be blind.  "I wrote 'All in Your Mind' to talk about how, when you're blind, you perceive everything through your imagination."

Even before he entered the studio with the Mardins, Midon was accumulating the kind of accolades reserved for seasoned pros. The New York Times called him a "virtuoso," while Newsday heralded him as a showstopper. The Washington Post commented that Midon's "style is a febrile amalgam of Stevie Wonder vocals, feel-good pop songwriting, sophisticated jazz harmonies and a ferociously aggressive way of playing acoustic guitar."

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