Aloe Blacc: Soul Singer

by SquidRich

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

Official Video

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 Shine Through, 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 on MP3 Download

Listen To Clips From His Albums
Shine Through

Stones Throw Records
Good Things

Stones Throw Records
Lift Your Spirit

Aloe Blacc/XIX Recordings/Interscope Records
Only $10.49

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.

Aloe Blacc: Loving You is Killing Me

Links to Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc: Lift Your Spirit
A review of the Aloe Blacc album released 2013/14.

Aloe Blacc Official Website
The homepage for Aloe Blacc.

Updated: 10/14/2014, SquidRich
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Tolovaj on 05/31/2012

I have never heard about Aloe Blacc before and I was apparently missing some really good music. He is still young and he has great potential. Thanks for introduction!

Rayne Sene on 06/10/2011

Great review and thanks so much for the videos. I read a review on Aloe Blacc in the San Francisco Chronicle. Actually, it was his common sense responses to Aidin Vaziri questions that really attracted me to him...he's a great artist - his music is refreshing and he seems to be articulate, honest and has a great grasp of common sense. How Refreshing!

PeggyHazelwood on 06/05/2011

I had heard this song but had no idea who sang it. Nice! Love that music.

vikksimmons on 06/05/2011

Dittos to everyone else's comments. Always enjoy reading your work.

pkmcr on 06/05/2011

Really great review - as always. I seem to recall hearing this on the Graham Norton show and having the same thoughts. It must be an age thing! :-)

nightbear on 06/05/2011

As always a great review, I guess it's no surprise that I have not heard of this musician. But your recommendation makes him appealing. The videos help too.

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