Best known for being the frontman of the band Booker T & the M.G’s, Booker T is releasing his new album titled Sound the Album. It’s been a few years since Booker T Jones has been on the music scene and his new twelve track album will not disappoint.
Booker T. Jones' organ pops with the same ripeness that it did on Booker T. and the MGs' 1962 hit Green Onions. However, now he's teamed up with a handful of contemporary collaborators – including Gary Clark Jr., Mayer Hawthorne, Anthony Hamilton and Estelle – to help him push the blues and R&B he built his storied career on.
It’s always a risk when an artist involves other artists on their album, some collaborations work and some don’t. The track 66 Impala featuring Poncho Sanche definitely works, with its Latin-inspired percussion and Samba style it is the perfect combination.
Sometimes however, the collaborations don’t work, this is clear in track eight entitled Can’t Wait, which features vocals from Estelle. This song was a hit and miss for me, it sounded like it should be on a different album.
The titled track Sound the Alarm featuring Mayer Hawthorne is an R&B anthem with blues percussion. All Over the Place featuring Luke James is smooth, sultry and melodious. Your Love Is No Love is also a smooth track, with half-step rhythms and poignant lyrics. Broken Heart featuring Jay James is a slow burning Soul track drenched in nostalgia.
The best tracks on the album were surprisingly the instrumentals, Fun boasts a riff to justify the name and Feel Good is a traditional funk-soul jam with a hint of contemporary. Father Son Blues features Jones’ son Ted on the guitar, it is the perfect closer for a smooth, jazz-like album.
A nice relaxing album that will soothe the ears, Jones’ has a natural talent, a light aura surrounding his music that manages to calm. Gentle melodies, a concoction of different genres and collaborations, Sound the Album is a great album to welcome the return of Booker T Jones.
Official Album Release Date – August 12th 2013.
UK Live Dates
The 14th of August till the 17th August 2013.
London – Ronnie Scott’s.