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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal ...
I didn't know they made records like this anymore. I had the wonderful good fortune to see Charles Bradley live at a music festval in France this Summer, and was just blown away by his voice, his presence, and his band. It was like seeing James Brown, Otis Redding, or certainly someone of that calibre. And then to read about the back story to his life - he's certainly a...
Published on 5 July 2011 by Mister Kite

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bradley sticks to the 'Golden Rule' for 60s soul revival
There's a growing body of revivalist soul out there, much of it thanks to Daptone and Truth & Soul. And with these labels having helped push soul back into the mainstream with Winehouse, Duffy and the legions of pretenders, it's good to see soul driving on so unashamedly retro. Like Lee Fields, Charles Bradley is getting on a bit but the sound is that much more authentic,...
Published on 21 Mar 2011 by M. Scarola


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal ..., 5 July 2011
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I didn't know they made records like this anymore. I had the wonderful good fortune to see Charles Bradley live at a music festval in France this Summer, and was just blown away by his voice, his presence, and his band. It was like seeing James Brown, Otis Redding, or certainly someone of that calibre. And then to read about the back story to his life - he's certainly a man whose experiences are poured into his songs.

How lucky we are to have this man finally get round to releasing an album - thank God that someone had the sense to see what a talent he is. This is the best CD I have bought in years. I want to buy 100 copies for all my friends, and spread the good word about this amazing man.

Feel the love, Charles - it is so deserved!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Golden Rule: Daptone/Dunham Can Do No Wrong!, 22 Feb 2011
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Another fantastic entry in the Daptone/Dunham catalog, and this time it's Charles
Bradley's time to shine, backed up by Dap-Kings guitarist Brenneck and his
supersoulsolid Menahan Street Band.

A voice doesn't come much rawer than Bradley's. The man has definite soul power,
sometimes he hits like a roll of thunder, and it's easy to understand that he
once fronted a James Brown tribute band. The man sure can holler!

In the end I think it sounds a bit too similar to get top honours, and maybe
The Menahan Street band could have taken a more adventurous approach to
some of the songs, but that is a negligible complaint, as you will find a lot
of truly great songs on it.

Standouts: the soul classic The World Is Going Up In Flames, I Believe In
Your Love(with sweet horn stabs, and backing vocals from The Gospel Queens),
No Time For Dreaming, the truly amazing How Long and the album closer, Heartaches
And Pain, a sad, autobiographical tale about a family member killing his brother.

Put in in the basket. Payday is long overdue for Charles Bradley. Amazon should
even charge you over prize for this one, so we can be assured the man drive
according to his class, in a golden limo soulsmobile.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly The Best Soul Album of All Time, 17 Feb 2011
By 
I can't believe nobody has reviewed this yet.

I had What's Goin' On down as the best soul album I'd ever heard until this came out a few weeks ago. Charles Bradley's voice is the definition of soul. Every note he sings is beautiful and is filled with a thousand stories and emotions. The songwriting is classic and timeless; there is the perfect amount of room for all of the instruments to fully find a home in the deep soul rhythms, as heard on the seminal MSB album. Dave Guy and Leon Michels on the horns are the perfect partner for Bradley's voice; imperfect, raw, full of emotion, soulful, powerful, beautifully real. I saw Dave Guy with the Dap Kings a few months ago and he can play just one note, with his whole body into it like a sportsman teeing up a kick, and it's flawless and beautiful. Steinweiss never fails to play the perfect beat that the track needs, I can't think of one ride that's overcooked or anything. Oh and the production is so perfect. Roth & Brenneck. Expect less?

My only, only criticism is that I don't know why they included The Telephone Song, which was a b-side instrumental already released on the MSB album, that should have stayed on the 45's bum.

The Daptone family are so far ahead of everyone else in the soul game that it's getting hard to listen to other records. What is Brenneck going to do next? I'm flying to Amsterdam tomorrow to see them live and I might just ask him. Theyre not even playing a UK date. Clearly noone cares over here.

Anyways just buy it and keep putting soul up.

Mondegreen
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forged By Life Experience, 14 April 2011
By 
On listening to "No Time For Dreaming", you might be surprised to hear this is 62 year old Charles Bradley's debut album. It's not an album that has been conceptualised to capture a feeling, more it is the end-product of a sound forged by the life-experience, honesty and rawness of Bradley and the enthusiasm and dedication to authentic soul of his collaborators, the Menahan Street Band.

It's during "The Telephone Song" the album gets one of its special moments, as the band briefly drop-out and leave Bradley's voice to cut the air. And it cuts with authority, power and of conviction that assures us he knows what he is talking about. The singer survived an upbringing of limited means in Brooklyn, spending much of his youth living on the streets. After a 20 year stint trying to make it as a performer in California whilst scratching a living as a chef, he rejoined his family in Brooklyn only to suffer tragedy when his Brother was murdered. But his musical ambition, which was ignited when his sister took him to see James Brown at the Apollo in 1962, has always kept him going and he began to make a name for himself, performing James Brown routines in Brooklyn clubs under the name "Black Velvet". When Daptone Record's Gabriel Roth chanced upon his show, Bradley was immediately brought in to record with Sugarman 3. Initially the busy label had little time to develop him as an artist. However, label-mate, musician and producer Thomas Brenneck recorded sporadically with Bradley before setting up Daptone satellite: Dunham Records and the Menahan Street Band. The backing here is as authentic as Bradley - although mostly comprised of thirty somethings, they have all been working on the New York soul scene for over a decade, honing a craft which is influenced by soul's classic era

So Charles Bradley has finally got his break and made the album he has been waiting to make since his teens. And it deserves your attention. It is an album of deep soul with the warmth of Bradley's emotional intensity, underpinned suitably by a funky backing and some great playing by the Menahan Street Band. With stark, meaningful tracks such as "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)", and "Why Is It So Hard" to the straight-up funk of "No Time For Dreaming", it adheres to the great tradition of soul music that transcends problems to lift you up and beyond.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, 16 May 2013
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Sweet tunes,the amazing vocals of Charles Bradley, I find myself drifting away and being transported to a sunny place and chilled out I really like the cover version of the Nirvana song Stay Away he makes the song sound like his own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars soul sounds for distinguished folk, 10 Mar 2013
This album is an absolute gem. From the first song to the awesome cover of stay away by Nirvana, it is a non stop lesson in class. A vocal and musical triumph in every way. If you like your soul music pure then this is for you. Buy it. For christ sake buy it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bradley sticks to the 'Golden Rule' for 60s soul revival, 21 Mar 2011
By 
M. Scarola "Mac" (Essex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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There's a growing body of revivalist soul out there, much of it thanks to Daptone and Truth & Soul. And with these labels having helped push soul back into the mainstream with Winehouse, Duffy and the legions of pretenders, it's good to see soul driving on so unashamedly retro. Like Lee Fields, Charles Bradley is getting on a bit but the sound is that much more authentic, dripping with emotion and echoing with depth. The man has a wonderful voice no denying. I've been waiting for a long-player from this chap since 'Take it as it comes' a sharp, high-tempo break that sadly doesn't appear on this album. Instead of funky beats, this is well-produced picnic soul.

I guess it's hard to sound fresh when you sound a bit like Otis Redding. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the soul-by-numbers ballads on here. Everything works and sounds good, it's just a little too safe.

Where this album does really work is in the faster tracks - Golden Rule and No time for Dreaming are brilliant and engaging tracks but there aren't enough to make the album vibrant and separate from the many similar albums vying for your ears. I guess this is here the revivalists and I differ. I prefer Sharon Jones and Lee Fields' earlier stuff that mixed lashings of dance-floor funk with just a drizzle of quieter moments. Like with this Bradley LP, the over reliance on the slow makes the output feels less inventive as a result (I've no idea how anyone can compare this to 'What's Going on?'. Mental.)

The sweetest melody on here by far (and the most creative) is 'Since our last goodbye' which despite a number of changes could have been a classic vocal if it wasn't an instrumental (I keep singing over it!).

Overall, Charles Bradley has an amazing voice and deserves success and that's why I bought the album. There are a few gems on here and if you don't already have an extensive soul music collection then get this or get Lee Fields' 'My World' which is better overall. Or if you prefer funkier soul go for 'Problems' (Lee Fields) or Sharon Jones' 'Dap Dippin'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 July 2014
By 
Awesome album and great back story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good album, good seller., 12 Jun 2014
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Marvelio is a gent. Just bear in mind, if you're from the UK. American imports take a bit longer.But the album is great. Am v satisfied.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 17 May 2014
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Great album. At first I thought a little critically of Charles' range, but as I have listened to the album a few more times, I no longer feel this is a significant issue. There are some really great songs on this album that I can listen to over and over. I recommend this album wholeheartedly. I think the inspiration for the album is easy to relate to and as I have already alluded to, there is some great writing and lyrics. There is also a good range of love, tragedy, reflection, social issues imbedded in the songs. It has opened my eyes for the diverse potential for funk and soul to carry anything artists want to say.
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