Continuing with his journey through the past, Mick Hucknall doesn't focus on a specific singer, the way he did on 2008's Tribute to Bobby, where he saluted his idol Bobby Bland. Here, on the 2012 American Soul, Hucknall pays tribute to, well, American soul, selecting 12 soul standards, most of them from the '60s. Hucknall bends the rules a bit, allowing the Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" into the mix to flirt with Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me to Do," but he generally sticks to well-loved standards such as "I'd Rather Go Blind," "Lonely Avenue," "I Only Have Eyes for You," and "Tell It Like It Is." Compared to Tribute to Bobby, this adds a bit of grit to its production in its attempt to sound like old-fashioned soul, and that's why it's a better record: it gets closer to the spirit and sound of what Hucknall loves.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine