Album Review: Aloe Blacc – Good Things (Stones Throw)

Effortessly glossing over gritty lyrics with honeyed tones, Aloe Blacc delivers a fresh, vibrant handful of songs

It’s tempting to view [a]Aloe Blacc[/a]’s second album as a sort of period drama, decorated in the old-school sounds of a narked-off Marvin Gaye and the funky, feel-good emancipation provided by the likes of Donny Hathaway. There’s something strikingly fresh and full of vim about Blacc’s buttery-smooth delivery of songs loaded with hooks plenty enough to bring down a city of tenements. Much of this album, with its gritty street-level reportage of booze-alleviated dereliction and crooked politicians, feel so perfect for right now. To paraphrase Michelle from Big Brother (what do you mean you don’t remember her? She returned on the BB finale, dontchaknow), good songs is good songs, right? And the ear-snagging ‘Need A Dollar’, sun-dazed licks and grooves of ‘Good Things’, the [a]Velvet Underground[/a]-meets-Little Stevie of ‘Femme Fatale’ and tough wah-wah workout of ‘Brother’, all disguising Blacc’s twisted picture of a hell-on-earth with his honeyed, luxuriant tones, are damn fine with us.

Chris Parkin

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‘Good Things’ from Rough Trade Shops.