Album: Solomon Burke, Like a Fire (Pinnacle)
Friday 13 June 2008
The King of Rock and Soul's last album Nashville didn't, as far as I recall, get a UK release, but Like a Fire continues its clear country orientation with a satisfying set of country-soul performances, ranging from the almost swamp-funk gospel of Ben Harper's "A Minute to Rest and a Second to Pray" at one extreme to "If I Give My Heart to You", a torch-song in the pioneering black-country tradition established by Ray Charles, at the other.
The album's early stages are its best, with the beacon-seeking title-track – a gentle acoustic number written by Eric Clapton along similar lines (and chords) to "Wonderful Tonight", followed by Keb' Mo's uplifting poverty plaint "We Don't Need It", in which a man on his uppers is reassured by his family that they can do without costly fripperies because "all we need is you".
Best of all is "The Fall", a portrait of a once-proud man broken by circumstance, reflecting how "a flame can burn out, if things don't turn out". Burnished with subtle pedal steel, it's a movingly adult performance, recounted by Burke with the minimum of flamboyance and maximum emotion.
Pick of the album:'The Fall', 'We Don't Need It', 'Like a Fire', 'A Minute to Rest and a Second to Pray'
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
- 3 Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
The 1975 leave social-media after cryptic comic strip tweet hinting at possible break up
Britain's Got Talent producers apologise for not making Matisse dog double stunt 'clearer'
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Jules and Matisse used secret dog double for winning tightrope act
Netflix is testing out adverts
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9: 'The Dance of Dragons' sees Jon Snow return to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history