You could be forgiven for thinking in listening to Charles Bradley that this was an album from the 70’s rather than from April this year. Filled with the sort of gospel funk styling familiar to James Brown or Marvin Gaye at their best, I found myself constantly feeling like I was listening to a lost soul or album that I should’ve known about years ago. A cover of the Black Sabbbath’s classic Changes to a soul anthem has genuine gravitas, with Bradley’s heartbreaking vocals breathing new life and a real feeling of pathos. Ain’t It A Sin is about trying to be a righteous man but struggling with the vicissitudes of a world that keeps knocking you down, until you get back up fists ready with a snarl on your face and demanding respect and to be heard. This deserves to be heard.
Originally published in Kirkby Extra, June 2016.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.