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Lee Fields - Emma Jean (2014)
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Lee Fields - Emma Jean (2014)

1-06-2014, 17:28
Soul | FLAC / APE

Lee Fields - Emma Jean (2014)

Artist: Lee Fields
Title Of Album: Emma Jean
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Truth And Soul Records
Genre: Soul
Quality: 320 / FLAC
Total Time: 43:20 min
Total Size: 101 / 269 MB


01. Just Can't Win
02. Magnolia
03. Paralyzed
04. Standing By Your Side
05. Eye To Eye
06. In The Woods
07. All I Need
08. Still Gets Me Down
09. Talk To Somebody
10. Stone Angel
11. Don't Leave Me This Way

Though he's been recording intermittently since 1969, the gritty, James Brown-inspired sound of soul man Lee Fields has undergone a bit of an evolution since he released My World in 2009 and 2012's equally fine Faithful Man. Part of that has to do with the fit he has with the Expressions, his much younger backing band and one of the brightest units on the retro-soul scene. They not only back the singer, but push him into exploring the full range of his voice, exploring colors he hasn't before as he declares, pleads, testifies, and cajoles. Together, they're a force that doesn't so much imitate Motown, Fortune, Stax, and Philly International, but rather creates a music that logically descends from those lineages. Emma Jean — titled for Fields' late mother — is a seamless collection of 11 tracks led off by second single "Just Can't Win," a midtempo groover commenced with a backing chorus and a slippery B-3 as well as a slew of funky breaks. When Fields enters, he finds his space between Wilson Pickett, Sam Moore, and Brown. Despite the bass and drums, the music is dreamy, almost elegant, but never loses its grit. Two tracks here celebrate Tulsa, Oklahoma's contribution to R&B. First single "Magnolia" is a classic ballad by J.J. Cale. Fields' version is slightly faster, its arrangement fuller. Introduced by a gutbucket bassline, a snare, and sonorous B-3, the music swoons and bubbles. Fields' delivery is impassioned yet sensual, highlighting the humid, summery feel in the lyric as trebly guitars punctuate his lines. A pedal steel slips through just atop the backing chorus. The Tulsa connection is deepened by a stellar reading of Leon Russell's "Out in the Woods" (as "In the Woods"). It's rumbling, slow, gospel-infused, call-and-response funky soul and Fields swaggers through the mix. The band cooks on a walloping, all-but-instrumental showcase in "All I Need," as layers of percussion and wah-wah guitars highlight an expanded horn section — Fields doesn't enter until the last 30 seconds. He does indulge his Brown worship in the uptempo funk jam "Talk to Somebody," but fine though it is, it's the outlier here and takes a back seat to the slow-to-midtempo cookers. On Emma Jean, tracks like the singles "Paralyzed," "Eye to Eye," "Talk to Somebody," "Stone Angel," and the rousing country-soul scorcher "Don't Leave Me This Way" engrave a particular Lee Fields & the Expressions signature, leaving no one in their league. Emma Jean even stands out from its excellent predecessors in performance, arrangement, production, and inspiration.

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Azzure   User offline   30 June 2014 06:45

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