OK so The Best of Sam Cooke was the first soul album I bought with my own money, solely so I could own the sounds of his classic 1962 original: in a sense the Rosetta Stone of blues & soul music. The revelatory nature of my first weeks with this album is graven in my musical consciousness, discovering one vividly evocative take after another. You Send Me, Only Sixteen, Chain Gang, Twistin’ The Night Away…real hip shakin’ music from a completely different angle than the reggae and real folk blues I was picking up at the same time. In light of this, of my understandably visceral love for the late, great Sam Cooke, I was prepared to judge this effort by Copenhagen DK’s Leo & the Lineup strictly against his standard.
Imagine my surprise when I found this cut has chops all its own. Earful harmonies of the sort you’d hear from seasoned vocal acts (Trio–the Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt super-album- springs first to mind), with exciting keyboard flourishes courtesy of Morten Sørensen. As is too often the case the addition of a reggae rhythm seems an afterthought: kind of unnecessarily burdensome and distracting from what would otherwise have been a whip-smart soul revival recording on its own right. Buoyed by such talents their distinctive approach to the real American soul will inevitably continue to upwardly evolve.
If you ever change your mind
About leaving, leaving me behind
Oh-oh, bring it to me
Bring your sweet loving
Bring it on home to me.
Edit: bonus dub-flavored version by UB40.