Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Mob Wives: Aloe Blacc A Good Thing
I was first introduced to Aloe Blacc as a rapper. The first Aloe Blacc album I heard was "Shine Through". I bought before I left my family for a while. Before you all start assuming it was career related, thank you very much. I listened and was shocked at how good it was. One of the highlights on that album was a Spanish version of "Ordinary People" which was made famous by John Legend. When I learned Aloe Blacc was releasing a new album "Good Thing" and got excited.
The album opens with "I Need a Dollar". The chorus rings through my head all day after I hear it. You can really hear his struggle in his singing. The production and music is an updated version of 60s soul music. The music does not sound dated which can sometimes happen when you strive for a vintage sound. Listening to "I Need a Dollar" one can feel the artist's empathy and/or struggles of everyday life. People searching for an answer, turn to the bottle due to a dead end job, getting fired & just the stresses of life.
The next song is called Green Lights. There is a dreamy airy quality to the music. Once again there is an incredible amount of feeling in the music. It has an Al Green like quality. He is happy and you can feel it. I really like this song. Soul music to it's core with a modern edge.
This music harkens back to older time where protests were raging against the Vietnam War and the economy was struggling. People could not afford to put gas in their cars and there was a shortage. It's a modern day social wake up reminiscent to the protest music of 1960s & 1970s. Aloe Blacc's voice is not quite on the level of Al Green norMarvin Gaye. He does not have the distinct voice as the legendary soul masters. Lyrically he can hang with the best of them. His storytelling ability is second to none. He reminds me of Curtis Mayfield with his lyrics. There are many standout songs you could hear on the radio today. If today's radio stations would play music not pushed by major music labels. I bought this album on the strength of "I Need a Dollar". I was surprised by the entire album. It's a gem. If you love the great soul singers of the past, you will love this album. The songs have the quality & character of old soul without sounding dated. A modern day classic protest album in a time that needs a revolution after 8 years of Bush politics and the true after effects of Reaganomics. I suggest you pick up Aloe Blacc's latest album; you will not be disappointed. It's a good thing.