Aloe Blacc has come a long way since his early days with the West Coast underground hip hop outfit, Emanon. We've all heard the story of his recent success as the nameless and faceless vocalist on Avicii's "Wake Me Up." After stepping out as a solo artist with his Stones Throw released Shine Through in 2006, Blacc seemed to be headed in a new direction. The follow up album, Good Things produced by Truth & Soul's Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman, really saw the talented singer / songwriter find success with a wider audience. "I Need A Dollar," the big single from that album, became an HBO TV show theme song and brought Blacc international acclaim. With all that came successful guest appearances, including the Avicii hit (which is featured on Lift Your Spirit as an acoustic version). And now we have Lift Your Spirit which shows us a new direction for the artist. Where Good Things was all retro soul, this album is full of sing a long rock infused anthems. There are more pop and country tinged moments, but Blacc's voice still retains its soulfulness while finding greater range. There's a little disco as well with the Pharrell produced "Love is the Answer." There are many feel good moments throughout the record and plenty of tracks that feel like they might be hits in the making. Blacc seems to have a tendency to not let the past hold him back from exploring new territory. Lift Your Spirit feels like he's really expressing everything that has influenced him musically and emotionally.
- music label: Interscope Records 2014
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 03/2014
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