Soul fans lamenting a dearth of vintage downhome R&B and funk in the new millennium have clearly never heard Brooklyn's Sharon Jones. Put out by the Brooklyn label Daptone and backed by the label's house band, the Dap-Kings, Jones's music references the glory days of Stax and Atlantic Records and is rife with the organic grooves of Muscle Shoals. Jones didn't begin recording until roughly middle age, and her life experience rings true in her deep, gritty vocals. Through their work with Jones, the Dap-Kings developed a reputation in their own right as one of the finest instrumental backing bands around, and supported notorious new-soul diva Amy Winehouse on her 2006 breakthrough, BACK TO BLACK.
100 Days, 100 Nights comes with a FREE bonus CD titled "Binky Griptite''s GhettoFunkPowerHour". It is an HOUR LONG mixtape-style compilation that includes highlights from the entire Daptone catalog, with Dap-Kings MC/guitarist Binky Griptite providing commentary between songs. Talk about your added value!
In the new millennium, soul has become big business again. But despite succulent re-issues from labels like Astralwerks and Light in the Attic, the resurgence of seasoned soul sisters like Bettye LaVette, and the volcanic popularity of new-soul crooners like Amy Winehouse, the champions of the new generation''s purist strain are Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. After the often upbeat, always exciting sounds of 2005''s Naturally, the band''s next outing comes off as a slightly more tempered affair. The title track opens with an indefatigable statement of purpose, dropping into a late-stage, sub-halftime groove so Jones can fully "take [her] time" lamenting her missing man. Elsewhere, her voice effortless treads the heights and depths of its range with timeless aplomb ("Be Easy," "When the Other Foot Drops, Uncle," "Answer Me"). The Dap Kings themselves have reached a pocket-digging near-perfection, recent collaborations with Kanye West, Lily Allen, and the aforementioned Winehouse, yielding the sounds of a band at the top of its game. At times, these tracks court the uninspired flavor of the wholly derivative, but in all, 100 Days, 100 Nights makes for a very welcome addition to any avid listener''s contemporary soul music library. --Jason Kirk
Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. The artwork for 100 Days, 100 Nights is unabashedly steeped somewhere in the early â€˜60s. It is this era that the Dap Kings and their bodacious frontwoman cannily inhabit. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings set the gold standard for the so-called â€œretro-soulâ€� movement that reached its peak in 2007. While some groups seemed like pale imitations of the Funk Brothers and the Meters, the Dap Kings were the genuine article. The ferocity of Sharon Jones, too, could single-handedly squash other vocalists clamoring for a slice of the soul pie. Irrespective of genre, 100 Days, 100 Nights is an essential music-listening experience. â€" PopMatters.com, Best R&B Albums of 2007
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