January 30, 2013

Have you ever seen Charles Bradley sing? You probably need to. I’ve seen no less than three people randomly weep from the passion, anguish, and raw emotion he sweats out on-stage. Don’t mistake it for some emo outpouring either. Charles Bradley sings from a place most of us can’t process. Just look at his face in the picture above: eyes shut, face crinkled, fists clenched. There is no extra oxygen. Every ounce of energy is expired. You have to understand the back story to really process it. Aaron Frank’s interview with the soul controller is a good place to start.

This is his new single, “Strictly Reserved for You,” taken from his sophomore Daptone release due out on April 1st. Bradley wails about being tired of city lights and city people. It’s sad and exhausted and love-struck. So it is a Charles Bradley song, which means that it’s a classic soul song, which means that you can hear the specters of Syl Johnson, Sam Cooke, James Brown, and every person that has passed through his life over the last 60-some odd years. So I love it, like I do almost every Charles Bradley song. The track is below the jump, along with a new video from the Menahan Street Band, who are still making excellent music, even if Jay-Z doesn’t sample them anymore.


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