Margeaux Watson
December 24, 2008 AT 10:13 PM EST

With Amy Winehouse‘s career in the toilet, 2008 was all about the search for the next big throwback soul sensation. Duffy, Adele, and Robin Thicke dropped hot retro singles, but only Raphael Saadiq released a truly cohesive and thoroughly enjoyable body of work that pays tribute to the golden era of iconic soul labels like Motown, Stax, and Hot Wax. From start to finish, the former Tony! Toni! Toné! frontman’s critically acclaimed yet commercially overlooked third studio CD, The Way I See It, is a foot-tapping, finger-snapping delight–and he’s got three Grammy nominations to prove it, including a nod for Best R&B Album. If you’re still looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer, this is it.

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