100 Days, 100 Nightsby Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones, the big-voiced lead singer of the Dap-Kings -- a band that recently began making its name known outside those enthusiasts of the Daptone label and the reaches of the soul community thanks to appearances with Amy Winehouse and work for Mark Ronson, including a version of Dylan's "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" -- is no music-world neophyte. 100 Days, 100 Nights is just her third full-length with the Dap-Kings, but Jones has been singing on and off since the 1970s, without much of a break until she began working with her current label. Meaning, she's certainly paid her dues, and she has enough life experience behind her voice to make the words she sings sound that much truer. Because soul music -- and this isn't neo-soul, or contemporary R&B, but straight-up Stax and Motown brassy soul -- is so much more than the actual lyrics themselves; it's about the inflection and emotion that the vocalist is able to exude, and Jones proves herself to be master of that, moving from coy to romantic to defiant easily and believably. The album is much smoother, even gentler, than her previous releases, and though the Dap-Kings still power their way through the ten songs with bright horn licks, inspired drumming, and staccato guitar lines, there's a deeper, bluesier edge to the record, heard in "Let Them Knock" or the slower "Humble Me." "Don't let me forget who I am," Jones croons in the latter, her voice rising to a sweet falsetto at the end of the phrase. It's a very clean record, not over-produced but well produced, with a lot of great pop moments tucked in between the brassier, funkier bits. The title track relies on a sultry organ and a minor vamp to make its point, while "Something's Changed" uses strings and punctuated sax and bass as the singer drops a bit of her lungs out, bringing a kind of immediacy to her words, as if the actuality of the situation around her hasn't quite set in enough for her to wail about it, as if she's just realizing it and listeners are right there to hear about it. But that's the magic and power of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: their ability to convey passion and pain, regret and celebration, found in the arrangements and the tail ends of notes, in the rhythms and phrasing, and it is exactly that which makes 100 Days, 100 Nights such an excellent release.
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Performance CreditsSharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Primary Artist
Sharon Jones Vocals
Christopher Cardona Viola
Antoine Silverman Violin
Cliff Driver & The Drivers Piano
Aaron Johnson Trombone
Bosco Mann Bass
Neal Sugarman Tenor Saxophone
Entcho Todorov Violin
Binky Griptite Guitar
Homer Steinweiss Drums
Toby Pazner Vibes
Technical CreditsNeal Sugarman Executive Producer
Gabriel Roth Engineer,Executive Producer
David Serre Cover Design
Dulce Pinzón Cover Photo
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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When I first heard this group, I thought that they were a band from the '60's whose work had been rediscovered! I haven't bought the album yet, but I've heard clips from all the tracks, and I intend to. I am an oldies fan, so I really enjoyed hearing them. Granted, most of the songs all sound the same, and two songs seem to be ripping off actual oldies songs (listen to the title track alongside "Hurts So Bad" or the last track alongside "I Second That Emotion"). Still, a derivative and sound-alike set from Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings is a million times better than most current music available. Sharon is over 50 and she can jam! Listen up, women of all ages: you don't have to look like Rihanna to become a recording artist. And Sharon sings better than Rihanna, Beyonce, and all the other pretty girl singers put together!
It's hard not to dance and sing aloud when you listen to this. Engaging, filled with heart, soul and fun. Sharon's got a voice that commands your attention and makes you want to listen- again, and again...
This has a groove that just will not stop, I adore it. What a voice and what a band. You will shudder and shimmy, groove and weave to this, its excellent.