There seems to be a revisiting of roots within the African-American community (which has been going on for years). From movies like, 42, to this years’s, Get On Up, along with artists like Aloe Blacc, who are revisiting the sounds of the 50s-60s to make a modern explosion, and even to thenatural hair revolution, African Americans are reclaiming the past. Aloe Blacc’s Lift Your Spirit is an album that is certainly nostalgic and belongs in a time capsule.
The album opens with, “The Man”, a feel-good song that not only men can enjoy. Infused with urban and soul elements, this song will keep you bobbing your head and showing the world that “I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man”. “Love is the Answer”… there’s no doubt that Aloe Blacc is highly influenced by Motown and the Philly sound. I mean, just listen to his previous album,Good Things.
“Wake Me Up” is probably the most recognizable song of the album, the anthem of last winter. Without the cool pop beats of Avicci, this acoustic version can still to get you moving. Similarly, “Owe It All”, a slower paced piece about gratitude and faith, manages to get you swaying. “Chasing” is the only song in this album that makes me smile for no reason. I don’t know why but I love the full band instrumentals and the half-time feel. It reminds me so much of Jackie Wilson’s work.
My favorite track has got to be ”Red Velvet Seat”. Blacc shows off his vocal abilities as he seamlessly sings against a backdrop of exquisite orchestration. He sounds like a voice resurrected from a doo-wop band. What I like most about this album and Blacc’s style in general is his positive message. Though he has his share of heart break songs, respect is his motto and it shows. He doesn’t have to call girls bitches and hoes to express his feelings.
Aloe Blacc, I’m a great fan of your work and please do a duet with Anthony Hamilton!