Advertisement

Subscribe
to the
Weekender

Advertisement

Album Review: Beat of Our Own Drum | JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Posted by Kent Williams | Mar 13, 2009 | Album Reviews

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
Beat of Our Own Drum
www.myspace.com/theuptownsound

JC Brooks comes from Chicago, but recently played at the Yacht Club, and from all reports, burned the joint down. I wasn’t able to make it out to that show, but this CD gives me a strong idea of the sort of fireworks of which these guys are capable. First of all, JC Brooks has a voice and half — maybe two or three. I can hear hints of Prince, Little Richard, and even Lou Rawls in his voice. The guy was born to make the girls cry and get men into knife fights.

From the “Stereo 360 Sound” Logo pirated from Columbia Records to the sharp suits, these guys are consciously going for a Retro-soul vibe. While that’s great theater, it’s a little bit of a straight-jacket. Sure “Love One Another” sounds great, like Otis Redding sweating one out at Stax studio. But you can still hear Otis himself — I hear he’s still holding it down on iTunes. On some of these songs, I can appreciate how hard they work at trying to capture that ’60s soul vibe, but I want them to find their own voice.

And occasionally they do, as on “75 Years of Art Sex,” which owes more to Television and Talking Heads than Muscle Shoals. Those little bits of punk rock that poke through make this record. On the instrumental number “How To Stop Loving Someone,” they obviously had The Meters on their mind, but the guitar is just a little too loud and the back beat too hip hoppy to be a mere imitation. And sometimes, as on the ballad “Here Comes the Fall,” they manage to fully embrace soul music and transcend mere re-creation or imitation. These guys obviously have enough talent for 10 bands, and the best tracks on this CD make mincemeat out of the other neo-soul poseurs.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Articles from Little Village

Posted by genevieve-heinrich | Feb 14, 2017
Aseethe Hopes of Failure aseethe.bandcamp.com/album/hopes-of-failure Iowa City trio Aseethe — Brian Barr, Danny Barr and Eric Diercks — broke last summer when they signed to Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records (Future...
Posted by nate-logsdon | Feb 14, 2017
Night Pits Last Night Forever nightpits.bandcamp.com Last Night Forever by Night Pits Writing a punk anthem is a fundamentally communitarian act. The idea is that anyone — whether they think...
Posted by michael-roeder | Jan 31, 2017
TIRES LP1 tires.bandcamp.com LP1 by TiresThe big, anthemic sound of Phil Young’s (the Wheelers) new instrumental project TIRES was inspired by the recent passing of his grandfather. “He was kinda...