Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Album Review: Candi Staton- Life Happens

Candi Staton
Life Happens
***and1/2 out of *****
Not everyone gets out of volatile relationships so it is with great joy Candi Staton came out of her "hell on earth" marriage to former MLB player Otis Nixon not only in one piece, but creatively inspired enough to release her come back album Life Happens

There is a sense of joy that is tempered by a clear feeling of relief on the 14 tracks on the disk. The blues and soul are also present as Life Happens marks the triumphant return pairing of Staton and Muscle Shoals legend Rick Hall. That classic Muscle Shoals sound is flowing through the disks opening and clearly best track here "I Ain't Easy To Love".

Singing with Jason Isbell and John Paul White, Staton tackles a tune written by Angela Hacker and James Leblanc, performing with that classic slippery soul backing instrumentation. The end result is a dynamic offering that changes singers POV's over a grooving beat and easy organ. Staton's voice is passionate and when paired with the fellas accentuated even more distinctly for her powerful blues and soul; a real show stopper tune.

Her relationship with Nixon gets a direct account on almost all of the tunes including "Beware She's After Your Man" as Staton offers some sage advice for future relationships over a funky bass line. "Treat Me Like A Secret" and "My Hearts On Empty" both keeping the funky soul moving as Staton gets her pipes blaring showing off her vocal and lyrical chops having written both of these successful tracks.  

Things aren't perfect, the production at times can become too easy listening such as the background on "Where Were You When You Knew" and "Commitment" sounds closer to that 80's cheese sound then it should; a more traditional gospel instrumentation would better suit the subject matter.

Staton sounds invigorated and matches perfectly with her players like on "Close To You" and the mix of funk/soul/disco on "Three Minutes To A Relapse" which is a powerful testament. The resilience of Staton is inspiring and a track like "Even The Bad Times Are Good" is a great number that matches that 70's Muscle Shoals with Staton's vocals effortlessly, hopefully her personal life stays as positive and powerful as Life Happens.    
Great disk. Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

No comments:

Post a Comment