Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eli "Paperboy" Reed -- Come and Get It

Eli "Paperboy" Reed sounds like a white kid from Boston, which is who he is. His songs sound like note-for-note throwbacks to mid-'60s Stax and Atlantic soul. In this case, the whitebread voice is an asset. God knows we've been inundated with retro soul over the past few years. It's a classic sound, of course, but the question remains whether anyone could possibly improve on Otis Redding or Sam Cooke. To his credit, Reed doesn't even try. He's just a white kid who loves soul music, and if the arrangements are slavish imitations of Booker T. and the MG's, the singing is more beholden to Hall and Oates. It's blue-eyed soul, all right, but it's refreshing to hear a singer in this genre who tries to be no one but himself. Yes, you've heard this all before. But perhaps not quite so unselfconsciously.

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