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Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

For many people, funk revivalists deserve only scorn for disturbing a genre that's been sacredly entombed -- unless their efforts are filtered through contemporary visionaries like Prince or the Roots. And it's irrational and confining that certain musical-history threads, such as Motown, dead-end, while others, like '80s synthpop, get tragically resurrected. This record is unabashedly vintage funk and soul. Sharon Jones is no Aretha or Lyn Collins, but she can belt out a chorus or lay you gently into a ballad with ease. At the very least, she deserves credit for turning "This Land Is Your Land" into a pelvis roll of a private lap dance. Who cares if Naturally was the best record never released in 1977? It would've been plate-lickin' good then, and it's still smoking now.
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Terry Sawyer

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