Album review: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, 'Give the People What They Want' (Daptone)
A stalwart soul sister comes back fighting
There’s an old-school toughness about Sharon Jones, exemplified by the way the 57-year-old soul singer fought back after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last spring. Her natural ebullience still drives the splendid Give the People What They Want, a hook-laden affair keeping up the high standard set by I Learned the Hard Way and 2011’s punchy Soul Time!, as good an R&B album as any in recent years.
The bullish attitude is there right from the opening “Retreat!”, an assertive blend of Motown snap, Stax horns and Spector chimes in a retro-soul cocktail: “Step back!” she warns, “I’ll make you wish you were never born,” and you don’t doubt her candour. Under bassist/producer Bosco Mann, The Dap-Kings have developed into surely the ultimate soul band, perking like a coffee-pot as they pick and choose classic R&B elements for maximum propulsive appeal. “We Get Along” mixes Little Beaver-esque guitar licks and Donny Hathaway-style electric piano with a snappy groove; “You’ll Be Lonely” essays swamp-funk from peppy congas and clavinet, capped with a “Memphis Soul Stew” sax break; and “Long Time, Wrong Time” is a funk groove whose elements combine perfectly, especially the two rhythm guitar parts interlocking like those of Jimmy Nolen and Alphonso Kellum on classic James Brown hits.
For her part, Jones not only bares her heart via her delivery, but on tracks such as “Now I See” plays with the horns in classic soul-sister style, letting their riffs punctuate an impassioned vocal. “Money don’t follow sweat,” she sagely acknowledges in “People Don’t Get What They Deserve”, but with an appearance in Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street and a tour looming, 2014 could be the year that this terrific band gets the acclaim it deserves.
Download: Retreat!; We Get Along; You’ll Be Lonely; Now I See; Long Time, Wrong Time
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Madonna claims jokes about her age tantamount to racism: 'No one would dare to say a degrading remark about being black'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia