Charles Bradley Review: Victim of Love

Charles Bradley

Victim of Love

charles bradley victim of love album cover art

Quite possibly the best story in music the last few years has been that of 64-year-old soul singer Charles Bradley. Bradley released his debut album at the ripe old age of 62 – which is about 40 years older than most musicians – coming after a 40 year jouney to finally realize his childhood dream of being a successful musician. Bradley lived in streets and subway cars as a teen, hitchhiked all-around America, worked an assortment of odd jobs, performed as a James Brown impersonator, and saw his brother get shot to death – and that’s just cracking the surface of Bradley’s hard but fascinating life. A documentary is even being released in a week about Bradley’s life called Charles Bradley: Soul of America, set to release on the EPIX channel April 10th. Bradley was discovered by Daptones producers Tom Brenneck and Gabriel Roth, and released his debut, No Time for Dreaming, an absolute gem of a soul album that delivered Bradley’s life story with heart, soul, and pitch-perfect production. Now comes Bradley’s followup, Victim of Love, which finds Bradley moving forward beyond his painful story and moving forward musically.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best Solo Careers

Han Solo, solo career

After dropping our Review Royale of the new Justin Timberlake album this week, we thought it would be a good idea to tackle artists that have gone solo for our list this week.  We already broke down the best albums released by an artist after going solo in honor of Jack White releasing his first solo record.  So we thought, “Why not just look at solo artists career as a whole, after leaving their band/group.”  Easy enough to find plenty to pick from, but exceedingly difficult to pick just ten for this particular list.  We had to axe a couple that simply didn’t have enough solo material to justify putting them above more established solo musicians (Dan Auerbach and Jack White).  We just can’t be sure which direction people with just one solo album will go.  Back to the band or keep going on their own.  Either way, there were some very tough cuts, but we think we came away with a list worthy of your attention.  Enjoy, and let us know who we missed, left off, or shouldn’t have included at all.

10. Justin Timberlake

jt

Following the “hiatus” of ‘N Sync in 2002, JT quickly released his solo debut Justified.  I know of at least a few sophomores and juniors in high school who couldn’t resist the former boy-bander’s cool pop sound.  Little did we all know, Justified would serve as merely a bridge to even more progressive and layered pop sounds.  FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience have done more than show off JT’s love of the backslash, affirming Timberlake as pop icon.
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Matthew E. White Review: Big Inner

Matthew E. White

Big Inner

Matthew E. White Big Inner album cover art

Every year, in late December or early January, I find a debut album that slipped past me until it’s too late in the year to be included in my year-end top ten list. It’s amazing how every year it’s been a near certainty that this happens. In 2009, it was Antlers’ Hospice, in 2010, it was Lower Dens’ Twin Hand Movement, last year it was Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s self-titled debut, and finally, this year it is Matthew E. White’s sweet and soulful Big Inner.
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Top Ten Movie Soundtracks

titanic, soundtrack, album, cover, art

We wanted to give one last shout out to The Man With the Iron Fists soundtrack before we shut up about it (at least until the end of the year lists), so thought we could dig into other movie soundtracks and come up with a list of our favorites.  I’m sure to some of our reader’s dismay, we decided to implement a couple rules.

Rule #1:  No musicals.  Yes, there are a lot of great musicals put on film that maintain great soundtracks.  It is a little difficult to distinguish composed musicals from pop music though.  Don’t worry, musicals will get their own list one day, and Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and The Sound of Music will be honored.  We just all need to see Book of Mormon first.

Rule #2:  No film scores.  Sorry John Williams and James Horner, but today is not your day.  Once again, we wanted to parse this list down to something a bit more manageable (and believe me, it still wasn’t manageable).  Film scores will also have their day.

Without further ado, hit the jump, and feel free to comment on what we missed, mistakenly included, or anything else that comes to mind.
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Top Ten Thursday: Indubitably Great Debuts

In accordance with our debut this week, we thought it would be appropriate if we gave LxL’s Top Ten Debuts of all time.

1. Led Zeppelin- Led Zeppelin 

Loud, rebellious and unbelievably bluesy; this is what rock n’ roll is supposed to sound like. It’s funny to think that in ’69 when this was released, that the critics ripped it apart. Shows how much they know.
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