Aloe Blacc: Soul Singer
Is Aloe Blacc the saviour of modern soul music? He certainly has a contemporary sound that soul greats like Marvin Gaye and Al Green would be proud of.
Aloe Blacc Makes Me Smile
I quite often sit and listen to the latest UK Top 40 countdown online each Sunday. It's something I have done since I was a teenager, but these days not many of the songs impress me that much. Maybe it's an age thing!
However, just recently a song came on that made my ears prick up. As someone who has always enjoyed soul music, I was beginning to think the genre was dead. Taken over by rap and dance music, American singer Aloe Blacc has reclaimed much of soul's lost ground. In my opinion, he is an oasis amongst a desert of current musical blandness and repetitiveness.
Listening to I Need A Dollar took me back to the golden days of Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and especially Al Green. With the added feel of a bluesy jazz combo, the song is one that I could not ignore and one that I have been playing incessantly since first hearing it.
Aloe Blacc: I Need A Dollar
Aloe Blacc: Biography in Brief
Before his mainstream success with I Need A Dollar and the album Good Things, Aloe Blacc was half of a hip-hop duo called Emanon which released six albums starting in the late 1990s. None of these sold well and by 2003 he had started to record as a solo artist.
First out of the studio were two EPs, but by 2006 Blacc's first album, Shine Through, had been released to good reviews but few sales.
It would be fours years before another collection of songs was made available. But it appears to have been worth the wait. Adam Kennedy at BBC Music Reviews comments, in part, about the album thus:
"A noticeable shift from 2006 debut, Good Things mines an indistinct middle ground between hip hop, gospel, soul and RnB over 50 minutes of unrepentantly grown-man music. Money, or lack thereof, is unsurprisingly his chief concern: the bruised croon of self-explanatory opener I Need a Dollar immediately affirms as much. Miss Fortune propels the standpoint a step further, Blacc recalling a youthful choice "between riding in a bus or driving a new Rolls-Royce/ And I decided what I wanted was the bread" with admirable candour."
Aloe Blacc: The Man
Aloe Blacc: Good Things
Loving You Is Killing Me
Since its release, Aloe Blacc's second album Good Things has been selling well across Europe, hitting the charts in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Austria and France.
As yet, it has not seen success in the USA, although Blacc has been undertaking promotional appearances on television talk shows, such as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Conan. Hopefully, this exposure will lead to American audiences falling under the spell of Aloe Blacc's smooth vocals.
Below is another fine example of these, as Blacc presents another track from the album, Loving You is Killing Me, recorded live in the studio.