12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's perhaps an extra dash of grit to Hunter's sharp, soulful singing here, but otherwise he follows a similar stylistic path to his previous few releases. That's fortunate, since he's a master of the '60s-influenced, horn-punctuated R&B his stinging sextet serves up. Echoes of everyone from Lee Dorsey to Wilson Pickett pop up as the British soul man and his band expertly navigate Stax-style stomps (the title track), New Orleans–inflected strolls ("Drop on Me"), and more. Even if his endlessly expressive voice were the only weapon in his aural arsenal, Hunter would still be one of the premier soul stylists of his era. Yet he's always had another, not-so-secret weapon at his disposal: his terse, twangy lead guitar lines. Hunter's bluesy guitar licks don't dominate the album, but every time they turn up, they edge the energy level of the proceedings up another notch. Whether he's laying down tremolo-laden figures atop a subtly ska-tinged groove ("Let the Monkey Ride") or tearing out a barbed-wire blues lead ("Look Out"), Hunter shows that his axe is as mighty as his pipes, and that's saying something.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's perhaps an extra dash of grit to Hunter's sharp, soulful singing here, but otherwise he follows a similar stylistic path to his previous few releases. That's fortunate, since he's a master of the '60s-influenced, horn-punctuated R&B his stinging sextet serves up. Echoes of everyone from Lee Dorsey to Wilson Pickett pop up as the British soul man and his band expertly navigate Stax-style stomps (the title track), New Orleans–inflected strolls ("Drop on Me"), and more. Even if his endlessly expressive voice were the only weapon in his aural arsenal, Hunter would still be one of the premier soul stylists of his era. Yet he's always had another, not-so-secret weapon at his disposal: his terse, twangy lead guitar lines. Hunter's bluesy guitar licks don't dominate the album, but every time they turn up, they edge the energy level of the proceedings up another notch. Whether he's laying down tremolo-laden figures atop a subtly ska-tinged groove ("Let the Monkey Ride") or tearing out a barbed-wire blues lead ("Look Out"), Hunter shows that his axe is as mighty as his pipes, and that's saying something.

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