Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Soul of a Woman


Dec 18, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

Posthumous albums often come with the expectation that the artist had a last statement planned and are often prone to such interpretations. In reality, though, efforts like David Bowie's Blackstar (released a few days before he passed away last year at the age of 69) are not the norm in this category. If one had not known that Sharon Jones sadly succumbed to pancreatic cancer last year, one could be forgiven for thinking that there isn't anything too out of the ordinary here. In other words, it fits nicely into Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' formidable catalog, but just happens to be the best album of their career. Recorded as Jones was in recovery and her cancer was in remission, perhaps the one difference is that the sense of urgency and straight to the heart delivery that she had been known for since she emerged with the Dap-Kings in the early '00s as the greatest classic/vintage soul vocalist of the modern era is even more pronounced here.

Another difference is the orchestration featured on most of the tracks. Far from schmaltzy, the strings evoke the power, determination, and struggle of the early '70s soul that has inspired much of the output of the terrific Daptone label. Most of the material deals with relationships, as song titles like "Just Give Me Your Time," "These Tears (No Longer for You)," and "Girl! (You Got to Forgive Him)" indicate. "Pass Me By" has a tinge of Isaac Hayes' epic cover of the Bacharach/David standard "Walk on By." Opener "Matter of Time," however, deals with social issues. Furthermore, the album ends with "Call on God," a gospel-tinged religious plea that is, if anything, appropriate as the last statement by a great artist and her equally great band. (   

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