I’m currently in a complete re-watch of The Sopranos and, in fact, on the final series with later today perhaps the very last episode. I mention because I imagine Steven Van Zandt who plays Silvio Dante in the show would, on hearing/reading the occasional ‘retro’ criticism of this latest release, place his palm-up hands out in front of his body and shrug his shoulders, accentuated by a stylish jacket’s shoulder pads, saying ‘What ya gonna do?’
Exactly. At a time when retro/nu-soul is so popular and thriving – rightly so – why can’t this 60s rock-soul with huge production swathes not flourish too? Calling it re-anything is to miss the point if meant as a criticism.
These are horn-driven, pulse-thumped, chorus-echoed peons to the past and, yes, revitalised here by the energy of Van Zandt’s strong vocals and those horns in particular: listen to the riff-revelling and horn-propelling and chorus-embracing Gravity for a fine example.
And strings! The closing title track has its own obvious referencing, and this is broader than any 60s labelling too, so the whole album's wall of celebratory sound is just that.