By Martin Halo
Oh, Sharon! How I want to keep you company so late at night. New York’s clan of revivalist junkies who have risen above their modest roots, deliver a new album’s worth of raspy brass compositions. Entitled I Learned the Hard Way, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are proving to be one of the city’s most potent acts, stunning audiences with performances straight out of Stax’s handbook of gospel, rhythm and blues.
Released back on April 6, the LP rests on the ashes of the soaring critical inferno that was 100 Days, 100 Nights. But don’t fret, Sharon Jones remains focused on love – or the lack there of, as she explores the hard way of learning about the tribulations of money and men.
Her heart is on the tape, pulsating with rage. It is beating with the sheer fists of struggling to not only find a stand-up man, but to make ends meet. She screams, “Money! Where have you gone to?” as Jones’ vocals steal the show, layered over the thrust of horns. She digs deep into the faults of men, most notably on “Window Shopping” where Jones compares impulses to afternoon shoppers on Broadway.
I Learned the Hard Way shines in bringing forth that vintage soul sound, succeeds in wrenching the heart from the chests of its listeners and proves that no matter the pain, Sharon, you have got a genuine man right here with me anytime you need!
“I Learned the Hard Way”
© April 06, 2010
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