Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: Give the People What They Want (Daptone) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Give the People What They Want


Jan 21, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

When the sound of Motown and Stax had a second coming in the early 2000s, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings were at the forefront of the rumpshaking resurgence. Their recreation of all things vintage being crafted with such acuity and authenticity, it almost demanded elevation to the status of “instant classic.” Four albums into their career and whilst the quality of musicianship remains high, the soul zeitgeist has long since waned, leaving their output to drift into nicheand somewhat clichéd territories.

Originally recorded and due out last year, their fifth effort, Give the People What They Want, was indefinitely delayed when Jones announced she was suffering from cancer. Against the oddshaving made sufficient and speedy recoveryshe has returned as the group’s vocal powerhouse; backed here by 10 songs that feel like nothing less than a jubilant return to form.

Building layers of taut and soulful clarityfrom finger snaps and tambourine rattles to exultant and breathless hornsSharon Jones and the Dap-Kings once again reinvigorate their classic soul sound, infusing it with a bounce that hasn’t felt this strong since their earliest records. While lyrically, they inherit the trend of their last LP, 2010’s I Learned The Hard Way, with songs that take a more thoughtful tone to the genre’s thematic tropes: from life’s hardships (“People Don’t Get What The Deserve”) and love lost (“You’ll Be Lonely”) to women scorned (“Retreat!”) and the pitfalls of frenemies (“Now I See”). And at the center of all this is Jones’ inimitable voice, her vocals rarely better, the lynchpin around which the band can build such a diverse and intoxicating set.

When you consider all the personal turmoil which has surrounded the release of Give the People What They Want, it can’t help but be viewed as a triumph both personally and artistically. Feeling as genuine, exiting, and downright fun as their very best work, it does just as the title suggestswith the band back on blistering form and Jones solidifying her place in the pantheon of soul legends. (

Author rating: 8/10

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