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Charles Bradley - Victim of Love LP
Includes mp3 download of album
Where Charles Bradley’s 2011 debut LP sounded like it was recorded in 1971, his 2013 sophomore album plays like it was unearthed from a 1973 time capsule. Working again with Menahan Street Band leader Thomas Brenneck, who discovered Bradley busking around New York City, Victim of Love is a natural-sounding evolution. “Strictly Reserved for You” opens with a Memphis-flavored horn section and vintage fuzz-guitar leads buzzing under Bradley’s soulful croon. This time around, his melodies are noticeably more uplifting. And why shouldn’t they be? No Time for Dreaming got Bradley off the streets, into the studio, and on an extensive tour. Add to that the fact that a Rodriguez-esque documentary about Bradley’s music and life are in the works, and it’s no wonder this album has more joyous moments than his debut. Both “You Put the Flame on It” and the amorous ballad “Let Love Stand a Chance” resonate with the sunny soul of classic Stax vinyl. Those craving Bradley’s signature melancholy musings should turn to the lovelorn title track and the funky “Love Bug Blues.”