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REQUIRED LISTENING: a musician's personal notes about favorite artists.

I Learned The Hard Way.

I Learned The Hard Wayis the fourth disc from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. A CD that could DEFinitely be called Retro Soul. You hear people talk about Retro as a movement but this CD is different, because it doesn't sound like an IMITATION of a style. This CD sounds like it was actually RECORDED in 1967. At the same time, the authority of the songs stands out as FRESH, now and real. Sharon Jones has a fine classic soul delivery that mixes a quirky sense of humor with the power of a streetwise soul diva. The arrangements of these songs have the quality of Stax's era soul music (intermixing strings and horns). Each instrument sounding like it was recorded forty years ago. This recording doesn't SOUND like a product of the Digital Age and I am jealous.

Jones hits her peak on "Money", a song which puts her spark plug humor and serious vocal range ON DISPLAY. Other favorites of mine include "I'd Still Be True", "She Ain't A Child No More", and "Window Shopping". For someone who is a serious lover of great soul music ...this is it.

posted: March 28, 2011.


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