Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bobby Patterson: “I Got More Soul!” (2014) CD Review

A lot of what is called R&B these days has neither R nor B. So it’s great to hear a new rhythm and blues album that is steeped in blues and soul, with lots of great rhythms. This album is a serious amount of fun, while the quieter songs (like “Let Me Heal It”) also work beautifully. This is mostly original material, but has a great, timeless feel, from an amazing singer who earlier this year turned 70 but sounds much younger.

I Got More Soul! opens with its title track, a ridiculously fun tune, with a beat to get you dancing. This song features horns and a bit of boasting:  Like the finest wine, I’m here to stroke your mind.”  This song also mentions fellow musicians Little Johnny Taylor, Al Green, and BB King.

That’s followed by “Your Love Belongs Under A Rock,” one of only two covers on this album. It begins with a classic groove that immediately gets me smiling. It’s a song about a woman who is just no good; after all, she has “the heart of a cobra,” as Bobby Patterson tells us. Understandably, he decides: “I got to put you down, woman/You’re getting out of control.” And then there is a fantastic sax lead toward the end. “Your Love Belongs Under A Rock” was written by Mick Collins and originally performed by The Dirtbombs. The album’s other cover is Sly & The Family Stone’s “Poet,” capturing the groovy, funky feel of the original.

Bobby Patterson then brings things down a bit for “Let Me Heal It.” I really love his vocal performance on this track. There is something so tender in his voice, like his voice itself has the power to help and heal. He’s trying to make us feel good, and he's succeeding. “Why don’t you talk to me/So I can see, baby, what I can do/Try to get through to you/Come on, baby, just reveal it/Whatever’s ailing you, I can heal it.” This wonderful track is one of my favorites.

“I Feel The Same Way” has a nice, easy groove, reminding me of some of Sam Cooke’s material, like “Good Times.” It’s a sweet love song, with lines like “Now I wrote this song to show you how I feel/Even though I tell you every day/We took the time to make the thing real/You’ve heard it all before, but I really want to say/I feel the same way about you/Don’t think I could live without you.”

Things get a bit funky with the sexy “Can You Feel Me?” This song features some very cool work on bass. “Well, I’m one of a kind/And I’m here to shock your mind/Can you feel me.”  There is some intimate-sounding spoken word vocals over a groovy jam toward the end.

There is also something intimate and so bloody honest about his delivery of “I Know How It Feels.” This is another highlight for me. “Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever fall in love again/Or if she’ll come back – she might come back and ease my pain.” I love his delivery of “She might come back,” full of hope and yet also, most likely, delusion. This woman is gone, and deep down he knows it. But when he starts to think about possibly falling in love again, his thoughts and his heart immediately turn back to this woman, which is so sad. I love this song.

Things then turn toward gospel with “Everybody’s Got A Little Devil In Their Soul.” The Relatives provide backing vocals on this track. Sure, the song is a bit repetitive, but it’s delicious. The album concludes with “The Entertainer Pt. 1,” which features some more delightful (and humorous) boasting: “See, I’m the real deal with the master skills, and the longer you listen the better you feel” and “I don’t care if you’re in the ‘hood or in the trunk/Ain’t no way you can get away from my funk/I’m the entertainer.” And I love this line: “I got something for everybody that woke up on the right side of the wrong bed with a bad head and no bread/Ha ha, it's called soul.”

CD Track List

  1. I Got More Soul
  2. Your Love Belongs Under A Rock
  3. Let Me Heal It
  4. I Feel The Same Way
  5. Can You Feel Me?
  6. Poet
  7. It’s Hard To Get Back In
  8. I Know How It Feels
  9. Everybody’s Got A Little Devil In Their Soul
  10. The Entertainer Pt. 1

I Got More Soul! was released on July 22, 2014 through Omnivore Recordings.

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