Where It All Begins
Lalah Hathaway had always avoided selling herself as the daughter of soul legend Donny Hathaway, but by the time she released Where It All Begins in 2011, she'd built her own reputation and earned the right to reconnect with her musical inheritance. In the album art, Hathaway is composed of images from her father’s records. A cover of her father’s 1978 single “You Were Meant for Me” lets the singer collaborate with Donny artistically, if not physically. It's no exaggeration to say that the layers of meaning in this performance go well beyond the song's surface. The same goes for the rest of the album, which finds Hathaway collaborating with fellow second-generation talents like Lee Hutson Jr., son of soul great Leroy Hutson. “Where It All Begins” and “This Could Be Love” show that Hathaway remains R&B’s most composed and unhurried vocalist. She never has to force herself to be heard. The centerpiece is “I’m Coming Back,” a hushed but swift production that brings to mind the image of sand blowing across a beach and translates it into sound.