Give The People What They Want
The New Release From Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Give The People What They Want is the anticipated album from celebrated soul artist Sharon Jones and her band The Dap-Kings. It’s her fifth release and the first since 2010’s I Learned The Hard Way. After two years of solid touring behind that 2010 outing, the band reconvened at home in Daptone’s House of Soul Studios (Bushwick neighbourhood of Brooklyn) to begin work on their new album.
Her label Daptone Records had announced the release of the new album when Jones was diagnosed with cancer. The scheduled release and supporting tours were immediately put on hold and all efforts were quickly shifted to her treatment and recovery. The label states on its website “After a successful operation, ongoing treatment, and the continued support and love of friends, family, and fans, Sharon Jones is back.”
Now I’ve seen Jones and the band on stage twice – in 2009 and 2010, both times in New Orleans LA. Both mighty shows, full of passion and soul and as connected to her audience as an artist can get. I also have (and love) three of her previous CDs, so I approached the new album with some trepidation as to whether she had been able to maintain the brilliant dynamic of those past outings.
I was not disappointed. Perhaps due to her illness and treatment, Give The People What They Want is a joyful expression of her unequalled power and charisma as a performer. The record builds upon past success, offering a compelling selection of funk, jazz and soulful songs.
The ten songs delivered here are seasoned with the unbridled soul we’ve come to expect, from this precise eleven-piece band. Yet there’s a freshness in the band’s performance and songwriting that gives the group’s fifth studio album a unique feel. The word “restrained” comes to mind to describe this new release but I don’t mean that in a bad way, as if it lacks a little passion. That is definitely not the case. But there is a concerted focus here that lets the strong material speak for itself. To me there’s a level of confidence and happiness evident.
“Retreat!”, a dark up-tempo mover whose ominous stomping and lush arrangement will demand your full attention, “We Get Along” a classic feel-good number and the Detroit-flavored soul “Stranger To My Happiness” which is a perfect example of the studio expertise that defines the band and their sound.
Here’s a clip of “Retreat!”
The sharp danceable funk grooves stick in your head . Throughout, Give the People What They Want delivers every bit of the joyful and gushing soul.
Jones is clearly on a mission – a soul mission to give us what we want. And we want Give the People What They Want!
Stranger to My Happiness (3:31)
We Get Along (3:03)
You’ll Be Lonely (3:45)
Now I See (3:10)
Making Up and Breaking Up (And Making Up and Breaking Up) (2:23)
Get Up and Get Out (3:27)
Long Time, Wrong Time (3:21)
People Don’t Get What They Deserve (3:25)
Slow Down, Love (4:02)