Album Review: Charles Bradley

Changes (DAPTONE)

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Veteran soul singer takes on Black Sabbath – and wins.

You would have to be one hard-hearted bastard not to feel the emotion whenever Charles Bradley steps up to the microphone. The 67-year old has led quite a life, and that’s putting it mildly, and he throws himself into his third album for Daptone Records, wailing and pleading, sounding like a man who has nothing left to lose in this world.

His electrifying cover of Black Sabbath’s Changes, which has to be in the running for the best vocal performance of the year, dominates proceedings, but it’s the other material, including Ain’t It A Sin and Change For The World, where Bradley comes into his own.

Like everything else released by Daptone, it’s a note-perfect recreation of classic 60s and 70s funk and soul, but having spent many years as a James Brown tribute act, Bradley has found his own voice – and what a voice it is.