“GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT”
It’s about the music first and foremost, of course, but it’s also about the context. And the circumstances behind the release of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ fifth studio album make you appreciate all the more the verve and vivacity with which the soul revivalist band put over the rawboned sound.
“Give the People What They Want” was originally scheduled to be released last summer, but it was pushed back after the 57-year-old singer was diagnosed with bile-duct cancer. After she finishes up her chemotherapy treatments, Jones and her snappy Brooklyn band will return to the road next month, and although they were recorded before she became ill, songs like the lead single, “Retreat,” (“Retreat! What a fool you are to be taking me on”) and “People Don’t Get What They Deserve” take on added gravitas considering the troubles of the pint-sized powerhouse singer.
Not that “Give The People What They Want” is at all a self-serious difficult pill to swallow. What the people want from Jones & the Dap-Kings are hard-driving, old-school R&B jams in which the spirits of cherished singers like Otis Redding and Joe Tex are reanimated, and these 10 tunes take care of that business as effectively as ever.
ON TOUR: April 1 — McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, Portland; www.cascadetickets .com or 800-514-3849.
— Dan DeLuca,
The Philadelphia Inquirer