Important to remember: music needn't be perfectly crafted to be utterly enjoyable. Frenetic one-takes, from The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" to The Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout," are among the most canonical Rock 'n' Roll songs, for example. But the one-take has less auspicious, yet equally rewarding, results as well. To say nothing about the 50-plus years of Blues, Jazz, and Gospel that preceeded it, a large share of late 60s and early 70s small-label/self-released Soul and Funk music was often recorded in one or two takes. Darondo Pulliam's work on this album is indicative of this early-70s DIY Soul ethos; the music was meant to be recorded and distributed for common folks to enjoy (and not for the scrutinization of audiophiles). With all of that to keep in mind (meaning: not that it's all an apologia for a substandard album), this is a great humanistic stuff in a tidy package. The strings, guitar, and vocals on these tracks, along with a few latter-day overdubs, are pleasantly loose, and although Darondo's voice is more than a bit evocative of his high-pitched contemporaries (heavyweights like Al Green or Ronald Isley), it doesn't sound a bit apish or forced. People: It's refreshing to hear a post-breakup sentiment like "Didn't I do the best I could / Didn't I treat you right?" uttered 30-odd years ago and resounding with big, glorious honesty out of an album released less than a week ago. This is guileless, irony-free stuff that hits like a ton-o-bricks. If this is any indication, 2006 is off to a great start, music-wise.