I believe that Sweet Inspiration is the best album released by Ace Records in 2011 and I rate it as a solid five star album!!!
To begin with, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham are masters of Southern soul, and these songs exemplify what the musical genre can artistically achieve through intelligent and awe-inspiring songwriting.
Here is what I believe Southern soul is all about: Southern soul music, is made up of different stories which represent various aspects of the human condition. You have stories of lonely and desolate people saved and spiritually elevated by love; you have stories of hurt and regret, stories of wanting to make good after inflicting wrong; stories of the passionate and guilt ridden and the different roads that they've taken; stories of the volatility and insecurity of life, where love is generously offered one moment, and suddenly and without any reason, immediately withdrawn. And of course there are stories of betrayal; women betraying men and men betraying women, as well as endless other tales.
What makes quality Southern soul really special to me, is that you have all these great singers acting out all these fantastic stories and poignantly and passionately bringing them to life. This is something that Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham artfully achieve through their masterful music.
There best songs are spiritually unlifting and very poetic, and not only is one enthralled and really moved by the beautiful melody, but also the story being told as acted out by the very talented singers.
In conclusion, there are too many great songs on this album to go through them one by one. All I can say is go out and buy it, because this is an excellent album!!!!!