IGNORED OBSCURED RESTORED
I read MOJO magazine for a reason! I still find it the best source to discover new music, especially these days when the likes of Spotify, YouTube and Pandora put the universe of recorded music at your fingertips, but that multitude leaves you aching for a curator. Well, that’s where MOJO comes in (for me).
In the March 2018 issue (#292) I spotted a review of Whatever It Takes, a record on the Daptone label by The James Hunter Six. I called it up on Spotify and was instantly hooked by the classic soul/R&B/blues influences. Hunter is a pretty damn good singer too.
Today’s SotW is the lead track from the album, “I Don’t Want To Be Without You.”
MOJO says Hunter’s song is — “an under-the-influence-of-love rhumba, (that) frames his tough-yet-tender croon with bubbling organ and punchy brass.”
Hunter is a middle-aged dude from the UK with connections to Van Morrison who’s been kicking around since the mid ‘80s. But he’s never sounded better than he does today.
Enjoy… until next week.
That’s a great cut, with a great sound, like all the Dap-tone stuff I’ve heard. So my criticism may be a bit churlish, but it is the way I feel. It is too perfect. If I heard this recording and learned it was from 1963 I’d think that’s a great cut. When I hear that it is from now, recorded about three miles from where I live, I say it’s a great cut, with a great sound, but I don’t feel the heart beating in it.
I feel in the tune guys who love a music and a sound doing a fantastic, maybe even improved, version of that sound. Sonically better for sure, and I like Hunter’s vocals here. But the polish and care distance me from the song itself. It feels to a disarming degree more like impersonation or mimicry than creation.
I don’t mean to condemn, I’m happy to hear this any time, but in context this seems to me like lesser art (even though the skill to do this is vast).
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