I was in a record shop on Saturday (I don’t need a special day to go to a record shop) and they were playing the new album by Charles Bradley which I thought sounded rather terrific.
Bradley sounds a lot like James Brown and it’s all very retro but what the hell, the groove is good and he has a great voice which burns with the emotion of a man who has waited a lifetime to make it and taken plenty of hard knocks along the way.
Buy: Victim of Love (album)
Thought I’d end the week how I started with some sweet soul music.
Shivers up my spine, people. Shivers up my spine.
If I had to pick my favourite kind of soul music I’d probably go with the smooth 70s sound of Philly, especially the dreamy harmonies of groups like The Delfonics. So I was more than a little intrigued (and very surprised) when I heard that they had a new album out, sort of.
Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics is basically a solo album by lead singer William Hart with different backing singers and producer Adrian Younge makes it sound almost like an old Delfonics record while keeping it fresh and modern so it isn’t just some safe exercise in dusty nostalgia. Hart is in his late 60s now so his heavenly falsetto is a bit more wobbly these days, but he still sounds wonderful and the album is very good indeed. Listen to the whole thing here.
Life is too short to wait around for new Sade albums but if you’re hankering after some smooth, stylish, and intimate bedroom soul lend an ear to LA-based Rhye and their terrific debut album Woman which will fill all your aural sex needs.
(You might be surprised to learn that the lead singer is a bloke.)
I only just heard the sad news that Cecil Womack died last week. Apart from being part of a legendary soul family (and being married to the daughter of another soul legend) him and his missus were responsible for two of my favourite soul records of the 1980s.
“Teardrops” is great but I think I’d give the edge to this one. The albums they come from are both excellent too.
Download: Closest Thing To Heaven (12″ version) – The Kane Gang (mp3)
Remember that period in the mid-80s when lots of white British acts were trying to sound all retro soulful? Adding black backing singers and horn sections to their records, name-dropping Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, talking about passion all the time. Was that Paul Weller’s fault? Or the Levi’s 501 adverts?
Whoever started it, this was one of the best records to come out of that phase.
Pardon my French but holy fuck is this record great. Sublime, passionate, modern soul music that will take your breath away. It did mine anyway.