Monday, June 9, 2008


Listen to HOW DO I LET A GOOD MAN DOWN? by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.

Hello, Monday! Let's go straight back to where we were a couple weeks ago, doing a little series on the new retro nuevo soul neo funk scene. (As we say in my job, 'familiarity with previous opinions is assumed.')

Sharon Jones is possibly/probably the leading light of this scene. Her 2005 album with the Dap-Kings, "Naturally," was a breakthrough. It got great reviews from the indie/online press, and ended up on lots of critics' year-end lists. Note that each of those reviews, just like our little blog, grapples lamely with what to label this music. (Though to our credit, we haven't stooped to using this stuff as a club to beat up on contemporary soul music. Yet.) Jones and co. released their follow-up last year to good reviews but to me it doesn't have the same crackle that "Naturally" does.

For all that, few people have blogged about the opening track of "Naturally," so let's do something about that. How Do I Let A Good Man Down? is a great opener, because it doesn't waste any time getting into its groove. You might even be tempted to say it's a harsh edit to open the song but not if you knew how tight the band is. Highlights include the snakey rhythm guitars, the lacksa-daisical vocals, and the crazy-catchy horns on the chorus.

Photo: Nuway Cleaners.


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