Charles Bradley: Changes (Daptone/Dunham) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Charles Bradley



Apr 01, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The story of Charles Bradley is a quintessentially American one. As chronicled in the excellent documentary Soul of America, he was down on his luck until he was discovered as a James Brown impersonator, becoming the unlikeliest of stars at age 65. Bradley is now on his third album, Changes, and is backed by The Extraordinaires, who replace The Menahan Street Band. The title track is a cover of Black Sabbath’s 1972 hit. Originally released in 2013 as a single (backed by “Ain’t It a Sin,” also appearing on the album), it’s almost as if it was made for Bradley to sing as he takes the song to some truly moving places that I’m sure Ozzy Osbourne didn’t envision back in those days. As such, it’s not just the album’s title track, but its centerpiece as well. Known as the “Screaming Eagle of Soul,” Bradley’s voice could stop a truck live and it translates well to the studio setting. With no trace of the irony or detachment that’s prevalent in so much modern music, Bradley and his band come up with yet another album that sounds like it was dug up by some reissue label specializing in obscure ‘60s and ‘70s soul. It’s not every artist who can open an album with a version of “God Bless America” and make it work, but Bradley does. Elsewhere, social commentary is evident on “Change For the World,” but most of the material consists of straightforward love songs such as “Slow Love,” “Crazy For Your Love,” and “Nobody But You.” (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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