Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Soul Time!

Album Review by Sam Wiseman | 04 Oct 2011
  • Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Soul Time!
Album title: Soul Time!
Artist: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Label: Daptone
Release date: 31 Oct

Soul Time!, the fifth studio outing from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, sees the band’s insistence upon replicating the exact character of vintage soul firmly intact. Using only traditional analogue recording methods, Jones’ rich vocals are underpinned by an impeccably-rendered brass section; the overall effect is so successful in its unswerving devotion to the past as to sound less like an exercise in nostalgia, than a disorientingly uncanny time-travel experiment.

Jones’ songs, which centre around familiar themes of indignation and defiance, are remarkably well-honed examples of the genre, and Soul Time!’s backward gaze will strike many soul devotees as a mark of authenticity, rather than a lack of imagination. Nonetheless, it’s a pity that a band of such obvious songwriting talent, led by a genuinely powerful vocalist, should have no interest in engaging with the soul tradition in a way that attempts to capture the musical particularities of their own era.