Lead Performer: Ricky Fante; Producer (group): Virgin

At first listen, Fante’s soulful debut may trigger a musical synapse in your brain – you’ve heard it before but can’t connect it to today’s neo-soul sound. That’s because Rewind is a tribute to ’60s R&B, replete with jabbing horns and rollicking organ. And Fante, who echoes the holler-and-groan emotionality of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding (”It Ain’t Easy”), has the main ingredient. Whether listeners are ready to go back to the future remains to be seen.

Originally posted May 7 2004 — 12:00 AM EDT

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