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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Retro soul's got to be damn fine to justify its existence, since the stuff it's modeled on is readily available for listening pleasure to anyone with a computer and access to Rhapsody, iTunes, or any number of re-issue catalogues. Fortunately, the latest from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings qualifies as "damn fine," thanks to vocal authenticity and retro recording equipment that offer inventive takes on the old blueprint. The Dap-Kings, whose skills are displayed on Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, avoid over-emoting, opting instead for casual cool that's the aural equivalent of a sly smile. Jones, meanwhile, delivers the likes of "Nobody's Baby" with unaffected confidence. If the results aren't quite as thrilling as 2005's Naturally, the disc will still sound just as good days or nights.


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