Just about every style of old music has been brought back in the twenty-first century, but one of the welcomest revivals has been soul music. Starting with the likes of Daptone Records and the late Sharon Jones, neo-soul has been touching souls far too young to have experienced its seventies heyday. One of the leaders of this has been St. Paul & The Broken Bones, who take it further on Young Sick Camellia.
While definitely staying in their wheelhouse, Camellia isn’t just a copy. There’s the great disco-soul of “Got It Bad”, and danceable “Apollo”. But there also is some really enjoyable straightforward soul in “LivWithOutU” and “Concave”, and a classic slow goodbye in closer “Bruised Fruit”. The interstitial recordings of an old southern man talking do provide a link to the past, but like most spoken interstitials, become unnecessary in repeated spins.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones do push their ambition a little further than 2016’s Sea of Noise (QRO review), but not too far. Neo-soul is never going to hit the huge popularity of coming on fifty years ago, but it is great to have it back here.