First things first – Amy Winehouse and Duffy better watch their backs – there is a new boy in town and he is enough to rival the pair of them put together.
Come and Get It is Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reeds third album and first major label release with Capitol Records following his first two independently released albums Sings Walkin’ and Talkin’ and Other Smash Hits! and Roll With You.
Nominated as Breakthrough artist at the 2009 Mojo Awards the soul crooner from Boston has been going strong in his native US for a long while and is about to hit the big time on UK shores with this next release.
Equipped with a quiff not seen since the days of Elvis, Reed has a huge, charismatic and belting voice. Its difficult to single out specific examples or evidence of this because the album from start to end is the proof.
The album opens to a smooth taste of whats in store in the form of Young Girl. Trumpets are in full force on this track. Eli’s vocals are soft and the number gives the singer his first opportunity to show off his fantastic range hitting some pretty high notes along the way.
Name Calling with its Supremes-style backing vocals and toe tapping rhythm follows suit and is one of the albums highlights. Its pure soul at its best – enough to rival any of the Motown greats.
Hollering juggernaut Help Me is a blast of youthful Little Richard similarity before Just Like Me lets loose a soul brother on a mission with its heartfelt declaration of closet discontentment.
Title track Come and Get It takes the reigns at this point and demonstrates an enthusiastic and fun performance that sounds like a song that would fit perfectly into a 60’s diner jukebox.
The rest of the album is proportioned well between head bopping upbeat numbers such as Tell Me What I Wanna Hear, the raw swinger You Can Run On and the album closer Explosion and gentle ballads – Pick A Number is a perfect addition and the heartbroken Time Will Tell.
Similar to a modern day Otis Redding, from the start of the record you are reminded instantly of the days of Motown. Its reminiscent and tragic all at the same time. The album has that gritty sound giving the feel of listening to an album through a record player but with a fresh texture so not to sound too dated.
The album is consistent in its revved up horn sections and complimenting suave backing vocals throughout.
The lyrical emphasis is love. Whether scorned or lost the singer never loses momentum or conviction in his delivery making the album feel complete and genuine. This guy is the Real McCoy and whether your a fan of soul music or not, the subtle layering of pop added to the record makes it accessible and good listening to a much wider audience.
Following the recent incline of 60s soul divas over the past few years its great to finally get a male take on the era.
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