Aloe Blacc – Good Things (Stones Throw) 27/09/2010

September 5, 2010 by  

?Good Things? may finally be the record that sees Aloe Blacc get the recognition he deserves. Born in LA to Panamanian parents, he learnt to play the trumpet in high school and the piano and the guitar at University of South California. He fronted hip-hop group Emanon before going solo, releasing his debut album ?Shine Through? in 2006.

He had a helping hand in his breakthrough to the mainstream when HBO chose his song ?I Need A Dollar? as the theme song to their new show ?How To Make It In America?. ?I Need A Dollar? is understandably the opening track, and one in which Blacc shows off his soul credentials, combining his Bill Withers like voice with a brilliantly catchy piano hook that stands up against any of the popular soul songs from the 60?s.

With ?I Need A Dollar? having been on the airwaves for months now, the anticipation for this album ?Good Things? has grown. Blacc himself says ?My purpose for music is positive social change, Even if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive social change, the product of the music will.? While initially this may not entirely excite prospective fans, Blacc does manage to combine his political agenda with quality soul music.

?Good Things?, ?You Make Me Smile? and ?Hey Brother? echo the early ’70s funk of Curtis Mayfield, whilst there are more generic neo-soul inclusions with ?Femme Fatale and ?So Hard?. However, the real stand out track here is ?Momma Hold My Hand?, a breathtaking soul ballad that really showcases Blacc?s vocal talent. There are a couple of filler tracks, and perhaps there isn?t another song here that will have the same crossover appeal as ?I Need A Dollar?, but it is a solid piece of work by a very talented artist, one who we will definitely be hearing more of.