11 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On his fifth album, this exponent of Memphis-via-Muscle Shoals R&B matches Tony Joe White’s moody charisma with Otis Redding’s lovelorn élan. Grey does it with a sparse yet poetic songwriting touch and a feel for serpentine rhythms. As a singer, he proves himself adept at both warm-hearted testimonies (“Beautiful World,” “King Hummingbird”) and snarling put-downs (“The Hottest Spot In Hell”). Grey is especially good at seductive numbers — “Slow, Hot & Sweaty” is exactly what its title indicates. Grey’s backup group Mofro deserves considerable credit for serving up lean, lethal funk (“Hide & Seek”) to bare-bones gospel (“Gotta Know”) and hypnotic Dr. John-like voodoo rock (“Diyo Dayo”) as the track requires. Reggae legend Toots Hibbert’s guest vocals help to make “The Sweetest Thing” a standout romantic number. Georgia Warhorse covers a lot of musical terrain while remaining firmly rooted in its retro-slanted sound. Judging by these superbly soulful tracks, Grey deserves to be more than a regional cult favorite.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On his fifth album, this exponent of Memphis-via-Muscle Shoals R&B matches Tony Joe White’s moody charisma with Otis Redding’s lovelorn élan. Grey does it with a sparse yet poetic songwriting touch and a feel for serpentine rhythms. As a singer, he proves himself adept at both warm-hearted testimonies (“Beautiful World,” “King Hummingbird”) and snarling put-downs (“The Hottest Spot In Hell”). Grey is especially good at seductive numbers — “Slow, Hot & Sweaty” is exactly what its title indicates. Grey’s backup group Mofro deserves considerable credit for serving up lean, lethal funk (“Hide & Seek”) to bare-bones gospel (“Gotta Know”) and hypnotic Dr. John-like voodoo rock (“Diyo Dayo”) as the track requires. Reggae legend Toots Hibbert’s guest vocals help to make “The Sweetest Thing” a standout romantic number. Georgia Warhorse covers a lot of musical terrain while remaining firmly rooted in its retro-slanted sound. Judging by these superbly soulful tracks, Grey deserves to be more than a regional cult favorite.

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