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Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Naturally
Daptone

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At this point, music writing is far beyond ironic and post-ironic, well into "joycore" and "spazzrock"; it's an age in which words like "funk" and "soul" too often describe the records an artist listens to, rather than the ones she makes. So, with a language in which the closest approximations (such as Al Green-alike Ricky Fanté) are at best simulations, and at worst, parodies of the real thing, how can one possibly explain the honest triumph that is Naturally?

 

Sharon Jones is no household name, for sure, but from the club floors of her Brooklyn stomping grounds to those of London and Helsinki and the bars of her Georgia hometown, it's a name spoken with pulpit jubilation. With Dap-Dippin', she and volcanic Daptone house band the Dap-Kings blew minds. With "Genuine," Jones made possibly the best single of 2004. And with Naturally, more full than ever of dashing and unique stompers ("My Man Is a Mean Man"), shakers ("Fish in My Dish") and crooners ("You're Gonna Get It"), she may have already made the best album of '05.

 

Raw funk, gutsy soul, knuckle-cracking chicken-pick and wah-wah guitars, tight and sexy horn sectionals -- this is something far more than an approximation. Naturally is beautiful in its simplicity, and ferocious in its funkiness. Perfect.

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