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David Clayton-Thomas

Soul Ballads

Review by Gary Hill

David Clayton-Thomas is probably best known for his work as the lead singer of Blood, Sweat and Tears. Well, this new solo album allows him to pay tribute to a lot of his old favorite songs. These covers all work reasonably well. Some hold up better than others, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Midnight Train to Georgia

Jazz and soul combine here. This is not bad, but a little bland. The horn section adds a lot, though.

A Change Is Gonna Come
This bluesy cut is slower and mellower. That said, it’s also far more effective. It just works really well.
People Get Ready

Although this feels a bit slow, the mix of blues, soul and gospel works really well. I really like this version of the classic song. It’s one of my favorites here.

If You Don't Know Me By Now

I’ve always loved this song. This rendition really does it justice. There are no real surprises, but this rendition is convincing and strong.

Sunny

Here’s a great version of a great song. This feels really jazzy in a rather stripped back arrangement. This might be my favorite tune here.

I've Been Lovin' You Too Long

This gets a jazzy treatment. Personally, I’d prefer it to be a bit more bluesy. That said, this is still strong.

Dock of the Bay

This is rather predictable, but also effective. I do like the harmonica on this song.

Ruby

Although this string laced crooner style arrangement isn’t my thing, this works pretty well. I like the horn solo.

When Something Is Wrong With My Baby

This doesn’t do all that much for me. It’s not bad, but just doesn’t really grab me. It’s basically a traditional soul treatment.

You Don't Know Me

Another crooner styled arrangement, this isn’t something that really works for me.

You Really Got a Hold on Me

Now, this is more like it. From the harmonica on the opening section to the killer bluesy arrangement, this is just so classy. It might be my favorite tune here.

When a Man Loves a Woman

This arrangement is the kind of thing you’d expect. The performance is so strong, and the song is too, though, that it’s one of the highlights of the set. That makes it a great choice for closing shot.

 
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