Saturday, September 15, 2007

Review: Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves - The Satisfier b/w It's Easier

Label: Q Division

Released: June 2007

Soul and R&B have in many cases become so wrapped up in the influence of hip-hop that they've forgotten their own identities. When things like this happen, sometimes it's best to hear someone get back to basics to reclaim a genre that's losing itself. Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves may be just such a band.

Don't get me wrong, they won't save soul singlehandedly, but they should at least remind the purveyors of modern soul what they're missing. "Paperboy" doesn't have a technically amazing voice. It's very, very good, but what really makes him a fantastic singer is that he really digs in like he's singing these songs from the tips of his toes. This is on top of a band that is thoroughly solid. The True Loves know themselves and what they want to be and they succeed.

"The Satisfier" is an upbeat soul song that beams with emotion and fun. The flipside, "It's Easier" is a ballad that shows off the group's real abilities on a song that wouldn't hide any inadequacies. Together, they show the group's ability to convey energy at both ends of the spectrum.

Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves are perhaps a bit like an evened out James Brown or a rough Marvin Gaye. That may sound like a backhanded compliment, but it's not, because they're a lot closer to Brown and Gaye than they are to much of what passes for soul today. One listen makes it clear that they mean what they sing; they really are the "satisifer."

Rating: 7/10



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Blogger taotechuck said...

Interesting how, when a genre evolves over several decades and grows far away from its original roots, often the people who revive the sound are of a completely different demographic than the music's original fans.

Country was revived by kids who grew up on punk. Blues was rediscovered (unfortunately) by white kids who were raised on hard rock. And now original R&B is being revived by white girls from England and guys from the original soul hotbed of Boston. Funny how things change and still stay the same.

11:34 AM  

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