Monday, 10 May 2010

Eli "Paperboy" Reed - Come And Get It - 2010 - Capitol

Even though I love this CD, the cynic in me wonders what the idea is from the major labels when they release items such as this. I would suggest that there is more of marketing than music behind this kind of artist, yet whatever the case I am very happy that a major label such as Capitol (which I had assumed to be defunct) get behind and support this 'blue-eyed' Boston soul singer with his backing band, the True Loves. You will venture from the sleeve artwork that Eli is very much on a 1960s tip, and so if recent tracks by Al Supersonic and The Teenagers, Anthoney Wright and especially Raphael Saadiq are to your particular taste, then this album is just what you're looking for. Now, please don't assume that this is a 'gimmick' artist. This young man has performing history and writes all his own material, having proven a huge hit on stage. Perhaps good old fashioned real singing, instruments and melodies play a large part with this?

I was first seriously drawn to this guy from his first UK single release - the title track of the album, incidentally - extensively aired on Radio 2. The opening bass and guitar is right out of the very late 60s / early 70s and the flow is just...classic in style. It has a lot within it that many of today's songs simply do not possess...short, sweet, upbeat, positive and annoyingly catchy. How well this will fare in today's brutish, thuggish Hip-Hop drenched R'n'B world is open to question...but I know what I prefer by a long chalk. Fans of Northern sounds, Stax, Invictus, Money, Twinight and even Motown will find something to appreciate here. The rollicking beats, bluesy guitar, live drum snares, horns and rip-roaring singing is something that you would not expect from a new album in the second decade of the 21st Century...something to celebrate indeed!

"I Found You Out" could well be a lost Stax / Atlantic recording, "Pick A Number" similar to what Motown was laying down in the early 70s - think Originals or Hearts Of Stone and you're not far wrong. The horny "Name Calling" tinkers with a Stax sound though has enough Motown sensibilities to boot. The talcum powder brigade should get sprinkling with numbers such as "Tell Me What I Wanna Hear" and those who like a bigger, sweet sound with Bacharach / David overtones should head straight to "Pick Your Battles". I also love the uptempo, gritter efforts the Otis Redding-like "Time Will Tell" - "Try A Little Tenderness" need not lose any sleep, but this is definitely ticking all the boxes and is well down the correct path. Please check out "Help Me" which has a great Bob Babbit styled bassline and funky Booker T Jones organ flavour. Cynical though I am -of the label and not the artist - I am very impressed by this gentleman. On the straight of the energy and verve he and the True Loves put into this, their stage show would be truly excellent! Well recommended!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe