Sharon Jones : Soul Time!
She's a pocket-rocket, a dynamo, ex-prison warden to boot, and at 55 years of age she's still competing with the best of them (and wiping the floor) when it comes to playing live. Commanding the stage with her powerful voice and 'don't mess with me' attitude, Sharon Jones and her Dap-Kings have been dominating the world stage as the leading soul/funk outfit over the last couple of years. Their latest collection of tracks - Soul Time!solidifies their reign at the top.
Slotting straight into a killer groove from the get go, Genuine Pt 1 and 2 are straight up '70s funk gems, horn heavy with a solid bass line locking it all in place. The James Brown comparisons are apt when it comes to style and vocal delivery but it's the lyrical content on When I Get Home, which really embodies the spirit of the great man. Doing the dirty was always on his mind and it's on Jones's in this track.
What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes? is a politically charged foot stomper - the theme a welcome change on the album. Social commentary rears it's head again onAin't No Chimneys In The Projects and Jones's word are fierce and truthful. Things drop a few significant notches in intensity in Without A Trace and the key arrangements work harmoniously with Jones's more relaxed approach to this song. We know she's got the fire but it's nice to experience a slow burner.
The production of Soul Time! is super slick, and somewhere in the shininess it loses it's raw edge. Horn flourishes and Hammond tinkerings blend into the mix, where on a less produced record they would pop and sizzle. It's consistent with their body of work and we wouldn't expect anything of lesser quality from the band but their frenetic energy and primal appeal can only really be experienced in a live a setting.
BY KRYSTAL MAYNARD
Best Track: When I Get Home
If You Like This You'll You Like These: Get On The Good Foot JAMES BROWN, Come And Get It ELI 'PAPERBOY' REED
In A Word: Consistent
Soul Time! is out now through Daptone Records