Changes is a blissfully crafted serenade, laden with a soothing horn entourage and a guiding backdrop of rim knocks, humming organ and golden backup vocals. Charles Bradley, the grand master himself, provides raspy, soulful sermons about love, life, and societal issues. Out on Daptone Records, Changes is dedicated to his late mother, and his passion and love shine through. “Changes,” the title track, is a rendition of the Black Sabbath song. It was released late last year and was powerfully foreboding of what was to come.
The album makes a few things explicitly clear: Charles Bradley is back, he loves America, we need to make some serious changes in this world and LOVE is always the answer. Soul is not a new concept. Bradley emulates some James Brownisms—such as siren wails, announcing he’s back and some crowd background shouts and hollers. However, his personal style overpowers any influences to create, once again, one hell of an album.
It is incredibly hard to go wrong with this one. The shuffle button exists for a reason, and it is suggested that you take full advantage of it. “Ain’t It A Sin” is probably the most up-tempo song on the album, and even then it tries to remove the word hurry from any facet of your life. Changes is rounded out by the final track, “Slow Love.” Listen to this with a loved one, alone in your shower, or on a sunny day and take the vocals to heart and be grateful for the rest.
Recommended If You Like: Lee Fields, Naomi Shelton & Gospel Queens, Sharon Jones
Recommended Tracks: 5 (Changes), 10 (Change For The World), 3 (Nobody But You), 11 (Slow Love)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Colin Smith on 03/19/16