Monday, July 29, 2013

The Soul of John Black “A Sunshine State of Mind”

(Yellow Dog) This is totally decent “sunshine soul,” or whatever it’s supposed to be, but the hitch is that it feels like what it’s supposed to be is a vision of a visionary; this is presented like we are supposed to recognize some pop/soul/blues/performance genius, a new Al Green/John Legend/D’angelo (he even mentions Voodoo at one point), and it feels more like a pleasantly adequate talented cat than a genius. Hooks seem more like jingles, melodies seem recycled, and whenever the singing elevates past pretty good it sounds like he’s doing impersonations. I feel mean saying this, because the cat seems talented and the record is definitely OK, but it really left me wanting.

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