Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soul Tracks

1973's The Payback stands as one of James Brown's greatest albums. It was also quite ambitious, James Brown & crew made an 8 track album that extends to nearly 73 minutes, unearthing new possibilities within the James Brown sound. Included on the '73 release is one of my favorite Brown tracks, 'Doing The Best I Can.' The aforementioned track & 'Forever Suffering' included far less of James' trademark funk and a lot more soul, straight-up gut-bucket soul. 'Doing The Best I Can' is so revealing that it comes across as autobiographical. James begs, pleads, and attempts to make amends, "just a man doing the best he can." It's hard not to sympathize with Mr. Brown and it's nearly impossible not to think back on failed relationships. Pure brilliance.