VICTIM OF LOVE
Arguably the toughest job for Brooklyn’s Daptones label and their crusade to record those now-ageing soul artists who slipped through the grooves of the sound’s 60s and 70s heyday is to back up their discoveries with solid second albums
Once the glossy sheen of discovery has worn through then it takes an artist with the talents of a Sharon Jones or, in this case, Charles Bradley to harness the music and make it relevant again, not just an all-singing, all-dancing museum piece.
Their job has been made considerably easier with Bradley with the release of the doco Charles Bradley: Soul of America which tells his tale of hardship (from life on the streets, illness and his brother’s murder, through to caring for his elderly mother) and the tear-jerking ending in which his talents as a James Brown impersonator are turned into soul-stardom).
With such context, Bradley’s voice gains real power and lyrics gain extra weight.
Two years ago, his debut No Time for Dreaming played more on the tough times – though Daptones are to be credited for not marketing too hard off the back of it – whereas here there’s a lot more of soul’s grandiose 70s styles with wishes to make the world a better place for his sisters and brothers.
And that voice… Brown, Green and Redding; and now Bradley.