Thursday, April 8, 2010

What We're Listening To - Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings' I Learned The Hard Way

When I listen to Sharon Jones, one of the questions I always myself is, "Exactly how deep is the well of spurned love?"

Apparently pretty fucking deep.

Sharon Jones and Dap Kings don't grow so much as polish and evolve with their latest release, "I Learned The Hard Way." I almost like this album more than 100 Days, and I absolutely LOVED that album.

It's almost as if Sharon's mellowed a bit. Not so much in the lyrics ("I've got better things to do than remember you") but more in the vocal intensity. Before it was almost as if she was channeling so much of that feeling through her voice, it felt aggressive. But songs like "Give It Back" and the title track are calm, though sharp and pointed. Listen to that plaintive call in "Mama Don't Like My Man." assisted by only a guitar and some backup vocals, she births a classic as good as anything coming off of Motown or Stax in the 70s. Her voice is an instrument every bit as integral as those Dap Kings horns.

And whoa. The Dap Kings sound tighter than ever. There isn't a horn out of place, a drum beat off time, or a guitar lick out of sync. "The Reason" a 2 1/2 minute instrumental track is proof of how amazing this band is.

if you've ever wondered what the fuss is about, now is the time to discover Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.

No comments: