Coming from the always-popular Daptone label, Give the People What They Want is well-anticipated. Folks can expect much of the same sound from the past four albums, but don’t think that we’re complaining. As with previous offerings, we are again treated to a full brass backing band, Jones’ strong and confident vocals and soft, breezy backups that puts one in the mind of ‘60s soul girl groups and Motown-era R&B. The song content is pretty par for the course considering the genre, consisting solely of lovely lovers, leaving spouses and cheating louses which, although a little trite and repetitive, makes the album the perfect feel-good soundtrack for a broken heart on the mend.
While some are quick to criticize Jones’ formulaic songwriting and sound, fans would politely like to point out that due to an extremely tight constraints placed by the genre and the listeners who follow it, these crazy cats have worked wonders with so little room to manoeuvre. Somehow, there is a fresh sound on each of the releases and Give the People What They Want is no exception. While originally slated for an August release, the unfortunate diagnosis of Jones’ stage-II pancreatic cancer and subsequent treatments meant that fans just had to learn to be patient for the soul singer’s recovery and eventual January album release. Here’s wishing Sharon Jones a speedy recovery and a clean bill of health, because let’s face it — someone’s got to give us our soulful nostalgia-blast.
By Max Maxwell