James Brown

Sings Raw Soul

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James Brown's '60s studio albums were often assembled with all the care and attention to sequencing of a grocery list, mixing disparate tracks that were frequently recorded years apart. Raw Soul is no exception, setting propulsive early funk like "Let Yourself Go" next to oldies retreads, concert recordings, slickly produced pop-soul ballads, and filler instrumentals. There is some excellent music: "Bring It Up," "Let Yourself Go," "Don't Be a Dropout," and "Money Won't Change You" (both parts of the last title are included) are all early funk hits, but are inessential unless you're building a complete Brown library, the clear highlight being a frenetic 1966 live funk number, "Tell Me That You Love Me," that fades out at the height of its sub-two-minute frenzy.

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