Sunday, January 1, 2012


Charles Bradley's debut album No Time For Dreaming has a great story behind it. First of all, he's over 60 years old... probably one of the oldest people to release a debut. He spent much of his childhood in the streets, his life was changed when he saw James Brown in concert in 1962. He started singing after that, but didn't get his big break until recently, courtesy of Daptone Records (home of Ms. Sharon Jones).  You can read his whole bio at his website.

As I often say, context is great, but how's the music?  Well, on No Time For Dreaming, the music is great. Daptone Records kind of fetishize the soul music of the '60s, but can you blame them?  It was a great era.  Mr. Bradley is perfect for the label: he isn't just a James Brown disciple, he also has a lot of Otis Redding in his voice as well.

The album's main single, "The World Is Going Up In Flames," is a song for 2011 (or 2012), and it would have worked equally as well in 1962. But there's lots of other great songs on the album.

The backing band on the album is phenomenal, and I have to give a lot of credit to the label for signing Mr. Bradley, and really getting behind him. This is a soul album. It's not R&B, and it doesn't make any references to hip-hop.  Which makes it a tough sell in 2011 and 2012. If you put some of these songs on a playlist of Stax songs from the '60s, they would fit in. It's not just the sound, it's the songs.  If you love soul music, check this album out.


Eric said...

I never would have discovered this disc had it not been for your talk of it earlier this year. Honestly, you have given me GREAT music advice, but been bad for my wallet. But, this disc is great. "The World Is Going Up In Flames" , "Golden Rule", No Time For Dreaming" are all classics. I just feel like I got a kick back to the Stax Records time with this one. He is great. I am glad he is FINALLY getting some recognition. It is great to see true artists get that after years of covering others.

B. Ives said...

thanks Eric, I'm glad to turn you on to some cool new music. sorry about your wallet though!

matthew corbett said...

Here is a great live Charles Bradley video from Osheaga 2011 by Guerrilla Remote,