I have read some pretty patronisisng reviews of this album in "some" of the British Press, sneering over their intelectual arrogance at the fact that this record is deeply influenced by the soul sound of the 60's and early 70's.
THAT'S A BAD THING? No, no it isn't!!! Eli and his amazing tight band The True Loves have produced yet another feel good, foot stomping, straight from the heart soul album. ALL music is derivitive in some way, there are only so many chords you can play, so if you are gonna draw influence from anywhere, why not the uplifting honesty and soaring emotion of the "real" soul of Stax etc., that filled the airwaves with joy in the 60s and 70s?
Eli is singing a style of music that has always been graced by amazing singers, such as Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett et al, and the fact that he will face comparison with those legends makes him a very brave man to tackle this style of music in his own original songs. And boy, does he pull it off. The voice is great, whether he is tenderley whispering his thoughts on keeping a steady happy relationship in "Pick Your Battles", or when he fully rips it up with a very impressive soul scream reminiscent of James Brown on the final track "Explosion".
Stand outs for me would be "Just Like Me", "I Found You Out", "Time Will Tell" and the single "Come And Get It".
He makes you feel good, he makes you dance, he takes you back to a time when music was "home-made" and from the heart. Go and see him live and you will be completely blown away!
I hope this is the start of a massive soul revival, and that in the years to come, Eli is seen as a standard bearer of the rebirth of soul!