Various Artists

Soul Jewels, Vol. 2: I Wake up Crying

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Volume two in the Soul Jewels series may not be as flat-out awesome as the first, but that's no reason not to scope it out. Here are numerous gems and obscurities, tracks that have been left off single-artist compilations for no good reason. The music here is a bit more obscure than the hits, coming form the 1970s as it does, but easily just as satisfying. A case in point is Clarence Carter's mighty "What Was I Supposed to Do?," with its killer pained vocal and thudding rhythm section. Another would be Lonnie and Floyd's searing soul ballad, "I Pledge." But it gets better, as evidenced by the opener "I Stayed Away Too Long," by the Wallace Brothers, that drips with emotion and is underscored by a killer Southern soul bassline. These are a small sampling, of course, given there are 26 tracks here. This is the real stuff, in the cut, grooving, and sadder than the night is long when you're alone. Just get it.

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