No Time for Dreaming

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
On first spin, most listeners won't be able to tell that gutsy soul singer Charles Bradley's Daptone debut wasn't recorded in the late '60s and dusted off for release in early 2011. Subsequent plays reveal subtleties in production and instrumentation that might tip off some, but for the rest, this is a remarkable reproduction of the sound of classic Southern soul. Its combination of Stax and Muscle Shoals grease and grit are captured in what can only be called "the Daptone sound." Horns, percussion, background vocals, vibraphone, and rhythm guitar form a cozy, often sizzling blanket that Bradley wraps himself in. His grainy, lived-in vocals are straight out of the James ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
On first spin, most listeners won't be able to tell that gutsy soul singer Charles Bradley's Daptone debut wasn't recorded in the late '60s and dusted off for release in early 2011. Subsequent plays reveal subtleties in production and instrumentation that might tip off some, but for the rest, this is a remarkable reproduction of the sound of classic Southern soul. Its combination of Stax and Muscle Shoals grease and grit are captured in what can only be called "the Daptone sound." Horns, percussion, background vocals, vibraphone, and rhythm guitar form a cozy, often sizzling blanket that Bradley wraps himself in. His grainy, lived-in vocals are straight out of the James Brown/Wilson Pickett school; comfortable with both the gospel yearning of slower ballads but ready to make the leap to shouting, searing intensity without warning. The yin-yang between Bradley and his players would be impressive even if the material wasn't as top-shelf as these dozen songs are. All three working in tandem yield a perfect storm of an R&B album, one with clear antecedents to the genre's roots with new songs that are as powerful and moving as tunes from the music's classic era. The band even gets its own showcase on the instrumental, Latin-tinged "Since Our Last Goodbye," perhaps an unusual inclusion on a vocalist's album, but one that strengthens the connection between the backing group and its singer. Bradley has had a tough life, knocking around for years as a lounge act doing covers until the Daptone folks came calling with fresh material and their patented production. That history is evident in every note he sings; pleading, begging, and testifying with a style that few contemporary vocalists can muster without lapsing into parody. Lyrically the material is a mix of the socio-political "The World Is Going Up in Flames," "Golden Rule", heartbroken romance "I Believe in Your Love," "Heartaches and Pain", and the joys of true love "Lovin' You Baby". Some tunes are more personal, especially "No Time for Dreaming" where he's telling himself to get serious about his career, and in "Why Is It So Hard," as he delivers a capsule history of his life-long difficulties. Even if the concepts appear shopworn, the music and performances are vibrant and alive with arrangements that are innovative yet informed by their roots. Retro-soul aficionados who claim they don't make 'em like they used to will obviously be thrilled with this, but even contemporary R&B fans can't help but be moved by the emotion and passion evident in every note of this riveting set.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2011
  • Label: Daptone
  • UPC: 823134002227
  • Catalog Number: 22
  • Sales rank: 7,294

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charles Bradley Primary Artist
Sharon Jones Background Vocals
Victor Axelrod Organ, Glockenspiel
Bosco Mann Organ, Bass, Conga
Fernando Velez Conga
Nick Movshon Bass
Homer Steinweiss Drums
Leon Michels Organ, Piano, Conga, Tenor Saxophone
Thomas Brenneck Organ, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Drums, Tambourine, Vibes
Toby Pazner Vibes
Mike Deller Piano
Daniel Foder Bass
Cynthia Langston Background Vocals
Edna Johnson Background Vocals
Dave Guy Trumpet
Toby Panzer Vibes
Bobbie Jean Gant Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Fernando Velez Composer
Nick Movshon Composer
Homer Steinweiss Composer
Leon Michels Composer
Thomas Brenneck Composer, Producer
Mike Deller Composer
Cliff Driver Vocal Arrangements
J. Quarterman Composer
Dave Guy Composer
Charles Bradley Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Meaningfulness Of R&B Has Been Regained

    At a time when rock and roll really struggled to get a foothold in 2011, it was reassuring to see soulful, R&B performers kicking up the ante. We saw it in performers like Adele, who delivered probably the best album of the year, "21", an album that was chock full of believable heartbreak. However, if Adele hadn't made that album, Charles Bradley's "No Time For Dreaming" might qualify for that covetted spot. It's a brilliant album that perfectly recaptures the glittering sound and sweet feeling of 1960's R&B performers like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and it, too, has believable heartbreak. Bradley is 62 years old. This is his very first recording. He spent most of his life working as a chef. However, the transplanted Brooklyn native was lucky enough to see James Brown perform at The Apollo Theater in 1962. This impressed Bradley enough to become a James Brown impersonator under the name "Black Velvet". But it wasn't until he fell under the auspices of producer Thomas Brenneck and The Menahan Street Band that Bradley's aching, soul-searching voice found its true outlet. "No Time For Dreaming" sounds like it could've been recorded at Stax Studios with The Bar-Keys and Booker T. & The MGs. It's amazing to hear The Menahan Street Band playing with that kind of soulful accuracy. What's so impressive about this album isn't just Bradley's voice---which, by the way, is sensational---it is also the choice of songs, most of which Bradley wrote. Nearly all of these songs convey the feeling of the current social environment the way all those Stax, Atlantic and Motown songs conveyed America under the Civil Rights Era. That is definitely apparent in "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" and the semi-autobiographical "Why Is It So Hard?". The most dramatic song on this record is also the most personal, "Heartaches and Pain", where Bradley recalls his darkest moment, when he found out his brother had been murdered. If Otis Redding had lived long enough to make his own version of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?", it might have sounded like this. "No Time For Dreaming" not only recalls a time where soulful R&B songs had a deeper meaning but that they can regain that meaningfulness once more. Bradley has just given us a few more of his own. Let's hope he becomes a huge star.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews