Album Review: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – “Give The People What They Want”

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings CoverOne would tend to believe that after treatment for stage two pancreatic cancer,  all you would want to do is rest up and take things easy. Not so for soul heiress Sharon Jones, who has defied the odds to put out this latest release.

Give The People What They Want is the fifth record from Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings, and just like the album’s predecessors, this Daptone based troupe effortlessly marry everything that fans of old school soul, r n’ b, and funk can only dream of.

The album was written prior to Jones’ cancer diagnosis, so no sinister tales from that chapter are highlighted. However, the opener  “Retreat!”, a song about a woman scorned, could easily be viewed as a call to arms against the disease, with the lyrics  “Play with me and you play with fire/I can make you pay/I burn you up/This is my desire”.

There are obvious comparisons to Stax with the leg twitching “Stranger To My Happiness” and “Now I See”, as well as a nod to Motown via The Supremes-esque ‘We Get Along’, highlighting the exquisite talents of backing vocalists Saundra Williams and Starr Duncan, aka The Dapettes.

Jones then takes a retrospective yet solemn journey back through former romances on the funk laden tracks ‘You’ll Be Lonely’, and ‘Long Time, Wrong Time’.

Throughout the record, The Dap-Kings never fail to impress with how smooth and tight a force they are, something that sits perfectly alongside the virtuoso that is Jones.

Key Tracks: ‘Stranger to My Happiness’/ ‘Long Time, Wrong Time’/’Get Up, Get Out’

Rating: 8/10

This review was written for Tonedeaf (An Australian music site)

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