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Good Things

Aloe Blacc Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
Price: £7.98
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Buy the MP3 album for £1.99 at the Amazon Digital Music Store.

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Singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc’s affecting voice, perceptive lyrics, and dapper
sartorial flair are already familiar to music lovers in Europe. In 2010, his
international Top 10, platinum-selling single “I Need A Dollar” surged across the
continent, ringing out from the streets of Paris to the soul clubs of London,
combining social consciousness with irresistible ... Read more in Amazon's Aloe Blacc Store

Visit Amazon's Aloe Blacc Store
for 11 albums, 4 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Good Things + Lift Your Spirit + Shine Through
Price For All Three: £21.99

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 April 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Stones Throw
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,520 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Need a Dollar
2. Green Lights
3. Hey Brother
4. Miss Fortune
5. Life So Hard
6. Take Me Back
7. Femme Fatale
8. Loving You Is Killing Me
9. Good Things
10. You Make Me Smile
11. If I
12. Mama Hold My Hand
13. Politician (Reprise)

Product Description

BBC Review

With recession biting both sides of the Atlantic, there are tangible twinges of disquiet at the heart of Western living right now, tapped into with great effect on Californian vocalist Aloe Blacc’s second album.

The anti-superficiality of left-leaning hip hop and the like has long represented a counter stance well trodden as the wealth-flashing rap it opposes. Indeed, a bunch of Aloe Blacc’s label-mates on the ever-inventive Stones Throw have made cult careers mining such rich seams. Good Things is no mere beatnik projecting, however: Blacc was among thousands who saw their day jobs cut short by redundancy when the downturn hit.

A noticeable shift from 2006 debut Shine Through, Good Things mines an indistinct middle ground between hip hop, gospel, soul and RnB over 50 minutes of unrepentantly grown-man music. Money, or lack thereof, is unsurprisingly his chief concern: the bruised croon of self-explanatory opener I Need a Dollar immediately affirms as much. Miss Fortune propels the standpoint a step further, Blacc recalling a youthful choice "between riding in a bus or driving a new Rolls-Royce/ And I decided what I wanted was the bread" with admirable candour.

The uplifting manner in which he sets about detailing hardship is striking. Take Me Back, with its talk of getting "caught with your hand up in the cookie jar", is a slinky number one single from a parallel world, imbued with universally affecting qualities equalling prime Gnarls Barkley. And, much like semi-kindred Detroit spirit Dwele, there are timeless reverberations of Marvin Gaye here, too.

Protest songs polite enough to take home to your mother are where Good Things truly plays an ace card, though. The quiet drama in the refrain of Politician simply yet eloquently encapsulates the heart-sinking detachment from democracy that has troubled many disillusioned voters in turbulent times.

With Bilal and the aforementioned Dwele dropping similarly inspired albums this year already, 2010 is fast becoming a landmark year for thoughtful American soul craft. Good Things is sufficiently accomplished, in fact, to at least temporarily banish the clouds of financial doom and gloom to the horizon.

--Adam Kennedy

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Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 23 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
I knew literally nothing of Aloe Blacc before buying this album. Every so often I'll take a punt on something new or unfamiliar just to see of I like it - I have a relatively eclectic taste in music, but do have a soft spot for soul.
I have never been so happy with a purchase. From beat one of 'I need a dollar' this album had me hooked. It was powerful, original and yet somehow familiar in a sense that the music felt 'real' for want of a better word.

As other reviewers have stated, this is something of a retro album in that it could easily have been recorded during the 60's / 70's the decades of great soul - this isn't 'trying to sound retro', its been recorded by musicians - not "performers" - and thus happens to sound like real music (something of a rarity in this day and auto tune age...). So much so infact I had to check the web to confirm it was recorded this year!
Highlights of the record for me have to be the uber catchy 'I need a dollar' like a modern 'inner city blues', the sublimely awesome 'Miss Fortune'- a fantastic cautionary tale of the price of fortune and the amazingly heartfelt 'Mama hold my hand' - which made me actually cry in my car. True story.

However, I can tell you I love the album, others may tell you Aloe Blacc's voice sounds like a real person and not a robot (for some a positive, for others a confusing source of fear) - the only thing I can say with any certainty is that it is seriously worth giving a try!

Comparisons have been made to legendary artists like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, I'm going to throw in a distinct flavour of Bill Withers in a number of places (particularly 'Loving you is killing me' and 'Mama hold my hand'). The comparisons feel justified to this listener and I feel this album deserves to sit alongside the greats. There's something special about it. Don't believe me? Give it a listen.

"The only problem with having everything you want is you never really know what you need"
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark recording for our times 13 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Good Things are happening at the "Soul Fire" studio in Brooklyn. Truth & Soul's family of musicians stride alongside Daptone as a stable of quality output with its roots in the great foundation of American soul music. Perhaps unlike their contemporaries though, Truth & Soul it seems aren't necessarily trying to make records that sound dusty and vintage. Their production is as modern in its outlook as it is retro in its influence, a successful marriage of the two that is creating a new wave of authentic classics. I offer as testimony 2009's "My World" by Lee Fields & The Expressions, a timeless album of warmth and depth that soars at its many heights. For his second album on the Stone's Throw label, Aloe Blacc teamed with the Truth & Soul producers and their stable band, featuring members from both the past and current line-up of the Dap-Kings, Antibalas and the Mighty Imperials, to create "Good Things". The result is an extraordinary record of mainly sociopolitical commentary set to a cinematic, orchestral and of course, funky backing.

"My purpose for music is positive social change," states Blacc in his Stone's Throw artist profile, who refers to the project as his "report on present conditions - joblessness, homelessness and a universal lack of compassion from the capitalism at-large under which we all function, but some struggle to survive." As a fine example of this, the album opens with "I Need A Dollar", the story of a man who is losing everything in financial hardship.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 27 May 2011
By Clare
Format:Audio CD
Fantastic album. If you first heard of Aloe Blacc via Jools Holland's 'Later', as I did, you'll be expecting very funky tracks. I Need a Dollar and Your Love Is Killing Me are standouts and the album versions, though more 'sedate', are brilliant none-the-less. The album is excellently produced and it's good to hear highly skilled musicians offering something new and memorable; instantly 'classic' in the sense that you will go back to this album time and again. I defy you to not sing the standout tracks in your head until you border on obsessional! Check out Aloe's interpretation of Billy Jean via You Tube. Clare
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best albums i bought in 2010 17 Dec 2010
Format:Audio CD
Almost every tune on this album is fantastic. Mellow grooves, quality lyrics and a unique sound.
beautiful stuff
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truth and soul... 21 Dec 2010
By bohobozo VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Hey - can this guy carry a song.
West Coast - sweet Cali-soul - gospel, soul, R'n'B, ska, jazz, folk...a genre mix.
And this man has a social conscience - singing the fallout songs of the New Depression.
But no downward trip this - the delivery is uplifting - a spiritual high.
Thoughtful and thought provoking...' wrote Ronnie Rees for Stones Throw records and who am I to disagree?
The band of players - the Grand Scheme are really mature and keep it so tight in a minimalist kinda way.
The whole production is hot.
Some comparisons have been drawn - Gaye, Mayfield, Withers and Legend, and some have labelled it retro-soul.
But this ain't no copycat songster or backward work from this or a previous recession - this is the new soul for the new decade.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lovely CD
Published 7 days ago by Kay
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
Buy it right now it's worth every penny.
Published 1 month ago by Clarisse McClellan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by julie
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I really like"Dollar" so was very disappointed with the rest of this CD-it was very average at best.I hadnt heard any of the other tracks so knew it was a bit of a gamble. Read more
Published 3 months ago by mrsB
4.0 out of 5 stars I Need A Dollar
I i first heard this album on the Alec Lester show BBC Radio 2 I need a dollar knocked me out My son in law tells me that he has most of his C.D s Will have to borrow them
Published 3 months ago by warnock gray
5.0 out of 5 stars You deserve a $ for this one!
I don't know where I have been for the last 3 years to have missed this gem of an album . However I am catching up very fast ! Read more
Published 3 months ago by mark byrom
2.0 out of 5 stars Goes downhill
The first track is great with original soulful lyrics and music, the rest is a medley of ballady pieces and covers. Disappointing.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A good addition to my Aloe Blacc collection!
Worth the money, just took me a little longer to get into. A good addition to the Aloe Blacc collection
Published 4 months ago by Jules
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, not brilliant
This album is okay - I need to listen to it a few more times but didn't really do it for me even after 3-4 listens. Will persevere though and see if my taste/views change.
Published 6 months ago by Angiekent
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Voice But.........
Aloe Blacc has been around a fair old while already. He's still only 35 and from California.
He's already had two enormous hits with, `I Need a Dollar,' which I am sure will... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gerry Valjean 24602
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