This music is freakin' faultless: pulsating funk, pleading ballads, gritty grooves. It's no wonder this album has been a cherished rarity for years. Unlike most such coveted scarcities, this one fully lives up to the hype. By all means, now that it is both affordable and widely available, there's NO EXCUSE to not snatch it up. Fields's urgent vocals perfectly convey both intensity and melody, and the backing musicians are tight without being slick. It's captured in an atmospheric, mid-fi sound quality that only adds to the sincerity and convection on display. This is classic music, period, and it's good to have it at my fingertips at long last. The bonus of several rare single sides only sweetens the pot.
But, I have to say, the presentation is VERY disappointing. No amount of neglect could tarnish the magic of these tunes, but this could have been a slam dunk if a little more care and effort had been put into the packaging. Mostly, I was bummed to find there were absolutely no liner notes...this album was the product of a struggling, hardworking talent, and the story behind its creation should have been told. There are very few photos. The original album cover is not represented anywhere. Backing musicians are not credited. Songwriters and producer(s) are not cited at all. I don't need a twenty-page book or anything, but a few nice paragraphs would go a long way.
I don't mean to nitpick, but the standard of reissues has escalated considerably over the past ten or fifteen years, and I'm sad to see Truth & Soul not rising to the occasion. Still, even this degree of indifference can't degrade music this radiant. BUY IT.
(PS -- if there was supposed to be an informative, photo-filled insert and my copy of the LP package just didn't happen to include it, please let me know and I will retract all this!)