“A Juxtaposition” (January 9, 2018, Columbia, Missouri)

Sometimes the words, no matter how irritating they are, just don’t matter. This band, and its sometimes too randomly glib front man, went a long way toward proving that, forcing me into a love-hate relationship with them that felt resolved today when I activately enjoyed the album of theirs I once most despised:

Sometimes, the music might be underwhelming, or maybe a bit cliche-ridden, but when the right words are hung on its bones, they can transform the music into something special. I hadn’t listened to these Brits in a good long while, but this record sounds better than ever. Their front man, still at it with an excellent record released in 2017, may be the only songwriter ever to end a verse with the word “dissipated” (a rhyme, of course).

It’s only words / And words are all I have!

Short-shrift Division:

Greatest live vintage soul recording you’ve never heard? Johnnie Taylor’s Live at the Summit Club? I dare you not to get swept up in the sweat and guile and soul claps here, driven home by a furious “Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone.”

The Best of the Ronettes: Oh man. That foxy quaver riding atop that mammoth clatter!

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