Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Naturally

It turns out they do make ’em like they used to. On their second album, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings re-create ’60s soul to such perfection that it’s hard to believe Naturally isn’t some lost artifact from Muscle Shoals. Part of the credit must go to Jones, who sang on gospel, disco, and blues albums throughout the ’70s, and whose wonderfully fluid, brassy voice recalls James Brown protégées Lyn Collins and Marva Whitney. It also helps that the Dap-Kings — featuring members of the Soul Providers, Sugarman 3, and Antibalas — ably capture the gritty strut of ’60s soul and funk without a hint of kitsch or retro pandering. But probably the biggest key to the album’s authenticity is the songwriting by multi-instrumentalist Bosco Mann, who re-creates the period’s fealty to codependent, oft-destructive, always lustful relationships. It’s been ages since feeling bad sounded this good.

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