Entertainment Weekly (10/31/03, p.74) - "...An excellent disc of warm, fuzzy R&B that should solidify his standing among the neo-soul crowd..." - Rating: B+
Q (3/04, p.105) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[D]efiantly old-school, bathing in Bobby Womack-style soul glow. It's also trenchantly grown-up..."
Mojo (Publisher) (3/04, p.104) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Grandiose yet still occasionally understated, this is regal stuff."
Personnel: Anthony Hamilton, LaToiya Williams (vocals); Mark Batson (various instruments, programming); Erick Coomes (guitar, bass); Isaac Phillips, Clay Sears (guitar); James Poyser (keyboards, background vocals); David Balfour (keyboards); Pino Palladino, Derrick Hodge (bass); Franklyn Walker, Tyler Coomes (drums); Greene Jones, Jeanine Smith, Carol Riddick (background vocals).
Producers include: James Poyser, Mark Batson, Cedric Solomon, Anthony Hamilton, Junius Bervine.
Recorded at Southside, Atlanta, Georgia; Allustrious, New York, New York; Cherokee, Los Angeles, California; Axis Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
COMIN' FROM WHERE I'M FROM was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album. "Comin' From Where I'm From" was nominated for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance and for Best R&B Song.
Anthony Hamilton grew up in North Carolina, caught the eye of record companies, and released a major-label record in 1997, XTC, which was critically lauded, but mostly forgotten and quickly out-of-print. Following this setback, Hamilton hung around the music biz, working on his songwriting and background vocals, until his big break came in 2002, singing the hook for the Nappy Roots hit "Po' Folks."
The music on his second album, COMIN' FROM WHERE I'M FROM, transcends his rise-to-fame backstory. Hamilton is a soul singer in the truest sense of the phrase, a crooner with heart from the school of Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, and Teddy Pendergrass, as well as an intense songwriter on par with all of the above. The album features the vocalist standing as tall on more conventional modern R&B numbers like "I Tried" as on Philly throwbacks like "Better Days" and the darker storytelling soul of the title track. "Chyna Black" is a true standout, a driving ballad that's almost folk in the vein of later John Martyn or Tracy Chapman, with a brilliant sing-a-long hook. Anthony Hamilton never gave up on trying to find a forum for his music, and with COMIN' FROM WHERE I'M FROM, the R&B world is the beneficiary of his perseverance.