I’m a huge Sharon Jones and Daptone label fan, ever since her 2005 release; Naturally. I pre-ordered her two successive albums, but am ashamed to admit that I just picked up Soul Time! this last week whilst Christmas shopping. I remember Sharon Jones advertising Soul Time! over Twitter (@SharonLJones) in late September/early October, however, I thought the album itself was a “best of”, I was mistaken. Rather, the album contains “many of the gems that have been staples in the Dap-Kings’ live shows for years but have been heretofore unavailable.”

I’ve been fortunate enough to see Sharon and her Dap-Kings live twice in concert. Both times they’ve showcased songs I was unaware of, finally they’re available! The first two tracks “Genuine Pt. 1” and “Genuine Pt. 2” are genuine funk; parallel to her first album Dap-Dippin’ With…Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, get ready to break your neck, and just wait for that kick-ass bass line! Track three, “Longer and Stronger”, in my opinion, is the album standout. This track just oozes soul..token SJDK. “He Said” is a horn-filled track that gets your feet tappin’ and your head noddin’. Subsequently, the next two tracks “I’m Not Gonna Cry” and “When I Come Home” are very similar to the preceding track, but lack a “hook”. They’re good, but highlight their B-Side quality. Track 7 is a James Brown-esque stick-it-to-the-man song; “What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes”, I remember Sharon playing this track last time she was in Edmonton. “Settling In” is a blues inspired track that is slightly forgettable.

Lo and behold, there’s a Christmas track! “Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects” is a jazzy, horn laden Christmas tune that’s sure to bring the funk during the holiday season. I must say, I love the backing vocals, and the almost inconspicuous strings!

“New Shoes”, track 10, is a feel-good, Motown-type tune, that Sharon fans alike always look forward to, as Sharon screams the chorus melodically. The concluding tracks “Without A Trace” and “Inspiration Information” (a Shuggie Otis cover) slow and cool you down. “Inspiration Information” is the second best track on Soul Time!, and in my opinion is better than Shuggie’s version.

Though many of the tracks are B-Sides, Soul Time! is worth the price of admission. My verdict? 4/5!

Standout Tracks:

3) Longer And Stronger 3:40
9) Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects 2:21
12) Inspiration Information 4:21

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