Album: Allen Stone, Allen Stone (Decca)

Soul, being a genre, is vulnerable to the boilerplate approach, never better exemplified than here: a white, socially conscious, retrofiend from DC with a band who really mean it.

The playing is nice, the singing (a light Stevie-via-Hucknall tenor) heartfelt, the tunes decent, the songs so utterly in keeping with the ethos of the retrospected musical period (the early 1970s) that what you hear is not the substance of the message but the measures taken to make it sound "right".