Charles Bradley – “Victim of Love”Daptone Records-out April 24 / 5 You probably spotted him right away on the cover: yes, you’re absolutely right. The fantastic Brooklyn-based soul singer indeed does take his cues from James Brown. A former cover singer of the songs of the famous “Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” Bradley officially started his career at 62, and on this, his second full-length album, you get it: all the grit, all the passion, all the wear and tear and heart. In fact, you get soul. And that’s not an easy thing to do. Daptone, also the home of the famous Sharon Jones,Read More →

Low – “The Invisible Way”Sub Pop-out March 194 / 5 The Duluth, MN trio has been around twenty years; and on this, their tenth album, it’s easy to assume some sort of dulling in their craft. How often does a band keep itself around for two decades and keep itself fresh? While we cannot speak the whole of Low’s discography, The Invisible Way, their latest release, is a slow, melancholy, mature album, aged like a glass of wine. It lets on like a funeral dirge with moments of bare sunlight shining through; it passes like a sad man on the streets, quiet and memorable. ItRead More →

Jim James – “Regions of Light and Sound of God”ATO Records-out tomorrow4 / 5 Perhaps Jim James is aiming a little too high when naming his solo album “Sound of God.” But honestly, he’s the frontman for My Morning Jacket, a band we think is going to be the next U2. Just take one charcoal whiff of “State of the Art (A E I O U),” and you can’t help but be impressed with all that beautiful slow-burn rock: it just smolders exactly where it should. And none too soon. Considering MMJ’s rather unfocused Circuital from 2011, we’re hopping onto the James bandwagon once moreRead More →

Dutch Uncles – Out of Touch in the WildMemphis Industries-out Jan. 14 (UK)4 / 5 We’re glad that the first album of the new year comes from the fresh and funky Brits Dutch Uncles. It’s a shame that these guys are all the way over on the other side of the Atlantic, but we’re suggesting that you make that trip, especially if you’re a fan of  electronic orchestral pop. Like Field Music (and last year’s Plumb) expect a smattering of electronica, strings and other traditional instruments, funky rhythms, and a general brightness in music making. Take all these, and shake – not stir – andRead More →