Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Album Review: Charles Bradley- Changes

Charles Bradley
**** out of *****

The third release for the retro soul crooner Charles Bradley is his best yet as Daptone Records and the collective surrounding it continues their trend of classic sounding R&B that scratches that deep itch. Titled Changes the disk finds Bradley sounding his most assured and wide ranging as the Menahan Street Band, Budos Band and others back him up with easy rolling grooves.

Opening with a spoken word tribute and take on "God Bless America" which rolls into "Good To Be Back Home" the self assured tone is set. There is nothing earth shattering here, just rock solid soul played with confidence and power. "Ain't Gonna Give You Up" allows for Bradley to show off his vocal range as the passion flows in front of trumpets and well manicured snare hits.

The title track could have been a train wreck as Bradley and the players decided to cover Black Sabbath, but picking "Changes" works better than possibly could have been expected. It casts the song in a new bass driven light, while keeping the feelings and pain of the original, just filtering it successfully through a different lens.

"Ain't It A Sin" picks up the energy as the players and Bradley is particular gets fired up while the Gospel Queens join for some backing vocals on a pair of slow burners with "You Think I Don't Know (But I Know)" and "Change For The World". "Slow Love" closes out the album and outside of the genre crossing cover there isn't anything ear-popping, but that is not the goal of Changes. The collective contributors involved just want to put out good old fashion soul music that could stand up with the classics; mission accomplished.
Support the artist, buy the album, peep some video below:

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