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Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
Give The People What They Want - DAPTONE
FILTER Grade: 85%

By Scott Thill on January 13, 2014


Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings

What’s in a title, indeed: This refreshing collection of steady, soulful grooves was originally slated for an earlier release, before its potent force and frontwoman was diagnosed with stage I cancer. But it’s going to keep more than that to stop Jones from bringing her throwback funk to the people, especially on heads-up stomps like “You’ll Be Lonely.” (“After I’m gone,” she reminds us, closer to mortality than before.) That confident swagger is mirrored nicely on the heated opener “Retreat!” and even its less confident follow-up message to the soul sisters, “Stranger to My Happiness.” Jones remains a master of the slow burn as well on the lilting “Making Up and Breaking Up,” reliably fueled like all of The Dap-Kings’ precise backing by an appreciation for James Brown and everyone who copied him. Although it perhaps lacks the wasted acrobatics and distracting volume that populates today’s popscape, Give The People What They Want nevertheless reminds us that it’s both range and heart that helps compelling soul music survive both a century of cynics and existential close calls. 

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