Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

SOLOMON BURKE

LIKE A FIRE

2008-06-25

The king of rock and soul returns with a star-studded collection (Keb’ Mo’, Ben Harper, Jesse Harris, Steve Jordan, Eric Clapton, Danny Kortchmar) that gives his “A” list guests a chance to use his storied voice to propel their tunes. While the songs bear the lyrical and rhythmic sense of their authors, Burke’s voice adds a visceral punch. Clapton’s easy, loping, "Like a Fire" and "Thank You" probably wouldn’t get much attention on his own discs but get enough extra heat from Burke to pull the listener into the lyrics. On the other hand, Burke’s read on the Keb’ Mo’ penned "We Don’t Need It" isn’t enough different from the author’s own style to elevate it to new heights. That’s more a tribute to Keb’ Mo’s terrific delivery on his own discs than a criticism of Burke’s take on the cut. Elsewhere, Burke tears through Ben Harper’s funky "A Minute to Rest and A Second to Pray" and Steve Jordan’s soul gem, "Ain’t That Something" with a relish that reveals a hunger to dip into classic R & B. Jesse Harris’ "What Makes Me Think I Was Right" flirts with Country while the courtship is consummated on "The Fall", a country style weeper with pedal steel guitar leading Burke through the heartache. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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