Top critical review
on 22 August 2015
I made a mistake buying this guy's albums... It's alarmingly easy to get wrapped up in one aspect of an artiste's work and let your standards slide on every other aspect. I fell for Charles's undeniably seductive mixture of originality and of traditional gut-wrenching Blues, but that doesn't add up to an album I really want to hear more than once. It's possibly too much in an idiom that Americans will appreciate, but it really doesn't connect with me, even though a shed-load of American artistes, of all eras, most certainly do. Charles's next album will show how many people in the States also find it all a bit too raw.
Even though Howlin Wolf was equally raw, he tempered that rawness with a profound, sweet and dark, tone, and a better appreciation of what can make Classical Blues really zip along. Maybe I thought I heard some of that the first time I ever heard Charles, but by the second or third track of each of the albums "the thrill is gone".