When throwback soul label Daptone first discovered 62-year-old handyman Charles Bradley a couple of years back, it was immediately obvious to everyone who heard his plaintive, heartbreaking crooning that, after decades waiting for it, he deserved some studio time. While it took a little while for the magic to finally get laid down to tape, the results are worth the wait.
Bradley’s pleasantly raspy voice sits somewhere between James Brown’s passionate yelps and Otis Redding’s throaty wail. He’s backed up by the Menahan Street Band, who deliver their trademark classic R&B grooves with just the right amount of reverence. The instrumental track Since Our Last Goodbye sounds too modern and doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the album, but it’s still a good enough jam not to weigh down the record. Let’s hope it doesn’t take decades for Bradley to get a chance to follow up this impressive debut.
Top track: No Time For Dreaming