It's difficult to listen to the incomparable soul stylings of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and not think their energetic recordings came out of a vault somewhere. But even with all their gritty authenticity, Jones and company are no '60s relics.
As a vocalist, Jones possesses a rare combination of fiery fierceness and mournful expressiveness. And backing her up on irresistible musical narratives like "She Ain't a Child No More" and "Mama Don't Like My Man" are the Dap-Kings, who are incredible interpreters of that signature '60s sound. With the blazing power of the horns, the pared-down brilliance of the rhythm section, and the pitch-perfect crooning of Jones' backup singers, each arrangement sounds flawless without coming off as overly polished or produced. A perfect choice for anyone who'd rather soothe her heartache with a dance party rather than a dirge, I Learned the Hard Way hits all the right notes.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.