8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Get the throne ready,
This review is from: Don't Give Up On Me (Audio CD)
The "King of Rock & Soul" ascends his throne in all his glory with this tremendously refreshing comeback album. It's refreshing in every sense of the word. It's sound is refreshing and intimate. It's refreshing that a soul album on a soul artist, legendary or not, (But in particular a legendary one) is just that, soulful. Recorded live in the studio with a great cast of musicians, this album should bring deserved attention to the small Fat Possum record label in Oxford, MS. The songs on this album were all proudly contributed to Burke by some of the most respected people in the business. Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Brian Wilson are just the most famous of the lot. Morrison's songs are two of the better ones on the album, particularly "Fast Train". Both have Morrison written all over them, and in fact, he's using them on his upcoming outing. Like Morrison, Waits's, Wilson's, and Costello's songs are also instantly recognizable as theirs. Bob Dylan submits what is probably the most generic song on the album. Another highlight is the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Brenda Russell written "None Of Us Are Free". The two aforementioned titles, as well as the rest of the album, are graced by a superlative organ player in Rudy Copeland. Copeland, who is blind, is the organist at the church where Burke pastors. The title cut is written by songwriting cohorts Dan Penn and Carson Whitsett, along with Hoy Lindsey. Penn wanted to write an Otis Redding type ballad and had wanted to use the title "Don't Give Up On Me". Whitsett sat down and started laying down Otis like chord changes and the result, in my opinion, is a song that sounds like a classic '60s country soul hit. Copeland's playful interplay with Burke is uniquely splendid. To say Burke sounds great would be an understatement. His voice is smooth and strong. The Joe Henry produced ensemble deliver a package that should be titled "Don't Give Up On Music."