Despite its implications, Young James Long is not the name of a bragging hip-hop youth, but a bluesy Southern rock trio in the classic '70s style: singer P.W. Long, guitarist Kirkland James (formerly of Tenderloin) and bash it out drummer Taylor Young (of the Polyphonic Spree). Debut album You Ain't Know the Man is to '70s white boy blooze boogie what Wire's Pink Flag was to '70s punk: these five songs, each between just over one and just over two minutes long, distill all of the key elements of the style into their purest expression, then retire before things get dull. Clearly, had bands like Humble Pie and the Groundhogs learned how to restrain themselves this tightly, this style of music wouldn't have had time to get as annoyingly wanky and long-winded as it did. Overall, though, the concept is so obtuse that You Ain't Know the Man is much easier to admire for its facility with the musical clichés of a long-dead rock subgenre than it's actively enjoyable as a record on its own.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason