Pioneering soul man Percy Sledge returned in 2004 with Shining Through the Rain, his first new studio date since 1994's Grammy-nominated album, Blue Night. While nothing here is a surprise, Sledge's vocal range remains evident as he effortlessly conveys his patented smooth, controlled passion. Generally, these 13 tracks are made up of country-soul ballads from the pens of Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Barry Goldberg, Carla Olson, Jackie Lomax, and Mikael Rickfors. The two uptempo tunes, "24 -- 7 -- 365" and "Big Blue Diamonds," the latter a duet with Paul Jones, have a definite Stax/Volt vibe that nicely rounds out this fine contemporary deep soul outing.
AllMusic Review by Al Campbell