Whatever It Takes (LP)


The James Hunter Six

Vinyl
Buy
$22.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD, Vinyl LP

Amoeba Review

02/01/2018

At this point, if you see a Daptone Records label on the cover, you know you're in for a treat. Between Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones, The Budos Band, and Antibalas, Daptone has dominated the vintage R&B sound for the last 10 years. James Hunter's second album for Daptone beautifully blends a bit of ska, some early rock 'n roll, and powerhouse vocals. The result is a fiery and emotional album that is tamed by the beautifully under-polished production to make it feel organic and real. Whatever It Takes passes by with its brisk speed and ten-track list, but it has all that it needs to leave a lasting impact. Nothing feels superfluous as each song is sharp and direct with gorgeous harmonies, catchy melodies, and real musicianship that recalls the best studio musicians of the '60s. But the real highlight is James Hunter himself. His voice is masculine and rough, and he sings with such grace and precision that you would almost never know it was recorded today. The way he harmonizes and hits those notes is the anti-thesis of the current computer precise R&B vocal style. It displays the wear and tear of his voice, giving each song a character sorely missing from most anemic pop tunes.

 

Opener "I Don't Wanna Be Without you" is clean, simple, and romantic. Instantly noticeable is the bouncy organ taken right out of a Walter Wanderley instrumental from the '60s. It compliments his unique voice a la Al Kooper's organ on Bob Dylan's most iconic songs, but with more harmonious finesse and sensitivity. Even the clinking castanets feel nostalgic and channel the early-'60s wave of Spanish influenced R&B hits like "Spanish Harlem" and "Under the Boardwalk." "Whatever It Takes" is classic dancehall with its reggae rhythm and slack attitude. The piano is freewheeling and Hunter's voice swings around with a type of ease that feels unrehearsed and totally natural. It's so bouncy and breezy that it sets the perfect mood with just one listen. The frenzied energy of "I Got Eyes" is the other side of the spectrum. Working off a beat and rhythm similar to Archie Bell & the Drells' iconic funk single, "Tighten Up," it builds up around a super simple riff into a blast. The ending also gives Hunter a chance to channel James Brown with some powerful "yeahs" that's higher impact than the other comparatively mellower tracks. With all the recent analog nostalgia, there's few records coming out that capture that warm, fuzzy feeling of digging in old record shelves the way James Hunter does.



Track Listing



Side A Titles
Artist
Length
1.
I Don't Wanna Be Without You
The James Hunter Six 03:28
2.
Whatever It Takes
The James Hunter Six 02:54
3.
I Got Eyes
The James Hunter Six 02:17
4.
Mm-Hmm
The James Hunter Six 03:14
5.
Blisters
The James Hunter Six 02:47


Side B Titles
Artist
Length
1.
I Should've Spoke Up
The James Hunter Six 02:30
2.
Show Her
The James Hunter Six 02:36
3.
Don't Let Pride Take You For A Ride
The James Hunter Six 02:32
4.
How Long
The James Hunter Six 02:34
5.
It Was Gonna Be You
The James Hunter Six 02:18

Vinyl
Buy
$22.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: CD , LP
Amoeba Accepts Paypal - Start Digging!
Used Cd Markdowns
x Sign-up for emails, sales alerts & more:


loading...

Register


New customers, create your Amoeba.com account here. Its quick and easy!


Register

Don't want to register? Feel free to make a purchase as a guest!

Checkout as Guest

Currently, we do not allow digital purchases without registration

Close

Register

Become a member of Amoeba.com. It's easy and quick!

All fields required.

An error has occured - see below:

Already have an account? Log in.

Close

Forgot Password






To reset your password, enter your registration e-mail address.




Close

Forgot Username





Enter your registration e-mail address and we'll send you your username.




Close

Amoeba Newsletter Sign Up

Submit
Close