James Hunter's follow-up to 2008's superb The Hard Way finds Daptone genius Gabe Roth (aka Bosco Mann) producing instead of Liam Watson, one analogue expert replacing another.
Roth fits Hunter like a glove, bringing out the warmth of his brass section and framing his raw voice in perfectly judged R&B arrangements that spark and bounce. On “Minute by Minute”, the organ and fluttering guitar ride a dark groove; “Let the Monkey Ride” brings in scudding reggae-soul moves, while “Look Out” adds Latin touches. Best of all is “Chicken Switch”, where the brass and slick guitar carry Hunter's cautionary advice: “When in doubt, take the coward's way out, hit the chicken switch.” Wise words, well presented.
Download: Chicken Switch; Minute by Minute; Let the Monkey Ride; Look Out