The following review appears courtesy of Chris Rizik from Soultracks.com
There is a bit of "if a tree falls in the forest..." sense to the release of Acey Duecy, Anthony David's major label debut. Like the 2008 Grammy nomination of Ledisi as Best New Artist -- even though she had previously released two internationally acclaimed discs earlier in the decade -- the celebration of this "new" artist belies an underlying belief in certain circles that if Clear Channel didn't play it, it didn't exist. So Universal will be pushing Acey Duecy, a compilation of eleven songs from David's two Brash Records releases, Three Chords & the Truth and Red Clay Chronicles, as the debut of an exciting new Southern Soul singer who is India.Arie's buddy. This despite the fact that David sold thousands of copies of his first two discs and that "Words, " the duet with Aries that serves as the album's first single, won the SoulTracks Readers' Choice Award for "Song of the Year" back in 2007.
Now all that being said, it must be admitted that Acey Duecy is simply phenomenal. David's two Brash albums were both solid and enjoyable, but there is little doubt that Acey has captured the best moments and has put them together into a package that will blow away the uninitiated. Even two years after first hearing them, it is tough not to be wowed by the opening five cuts, all taken from Red Clay. David's ease with acoustic soul and Southern blues is palpable and his songwriting, which developed from album to album, is top notch. Any one of these five tracks could have been a hit with a major behind it, and hopefully will now.
The second half of the disc comes from Three Chords, and is only slightly less enjoyable due to the less organic approach that was taken on that album. But the sharp lyrical content of "Cheatin' Man" and "Krooked Kop" show that from his start, David was hitting it even as he was searching for his own distinctive sound.
It is certainly a monumental development for the independent soul movement that one of its male leaders has received the attention and the impending commercial push of the largest record company in the world. And while there may be a certain sense that the release of Acey Duecy inadvertantly minimizes David's previous commercial accomplishments, there is also excitement that his music is now entering a whole new universe and will be exposed to millions of new fans who may use this disc as the doorway to hear other soul NextGens such as P.J. Morton and Maya Azucena. And in that respect, Acey Duecy is a great portal to the world of modern soul. It is incredibly strong front to back, and displays an artist and a movement whose time in the sun has truly come. Highly recommended.
By Chris Rizik