Personnel: Lalah Hathaway (background vocals); Lalah Hathaway (vocals); Mike City (various instruments); Chris Parks (guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drum programming); Jubu Smith, John "Jubu" Smith, Ray Fuller, Eric Walls (guitar); Lee Thornburg (trumpet); Nick Lane (trombone); Rex Rideout (keyboards, programming); Michael White , Michael White (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Jenny Douglas McRea, Vivian Sessoms, Kenya Hathaway (background vocals); David Delhomme (guitar, keyboards); Brandon Fields (saxophone); Tim Carmon (Fender Rhodes piano, organ); Poogie Bell (drums); Ricky Rodriguez (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Craig Burbidge; Ethan Willoughby; Dave Pensado; Ray Bardani.
Recording information: Kar Studio; Music Grinder Studios; Silent Sound Studios; Surpdupr Sound; The Green Room, Los Angeles, CA; Unsung Studios; Westlake Audio.
Photographer: Kate Garner.
Few mainstream artists can keep the lazy release schedule Don Hathaway's daughter does and retain a strong fan base. It's been a whole decade since Lalah Hathaway released one of her own albums and half that long since she joined Joe Sample for The Song Lives On. It's her warm voice, smooth delivery, and allegiance to fad-free R&B that keeps the faithful patiently waiting. Delivering on all counts, Outrun the Sky is a fan's dream and the singer's best showcase since her debut. While The Song Lives On was more ambitious and in turn brought more fans, Outrun the Sky is a better showcase. Not only does Hathaway cover a wider spectrum of tones and moods but she also producers and writes most of the highlights of the album. Her stream-of-consciousness lyrics for the title track give a more personal picture of the artist and paint her as an approachable dreamer who's as unsure as anyone. Hathaway's inspired writing is responsible for many of the other warm and reflective winners but it's the closing "Boston" that best illustrates how this husky voiced siren can conjure up a cosmopolitan song and deliver it with heart. Including her smoky take on Luther Vandross' "Forever, for Always, for Love" from the Forever, for Always, for Luther tribute is the icing on this cool cake. The ballad-heavy album still has its fair share of grooves that are rooted in R&B but the overall easy temperament isn't going to alienate any of Hathaway's smooth jazz converts. Nice to have her back; here's to a shorter wait next time. ~ David Jeffries
Mojo (Publisher) (p.94) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[With] a raft of highlights....Hathaway's own well-crafted compositions prove just as enthralling....Spellbinding."