Artist: Charles Wright
CD: Something to Make you Feel Good
How would one describe Charles Wright? Wright’s voice cuts to the heart of any story, taking you down back roads, through broken lonely hearts, and into hopeful, open skies and a hopeful future. Best known as the leader of `70s soul group The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band and the composer of the enduring R&B smash “Express Yourself,” Charles Wright just released a new single, “She Don’t Believe in Love” from his latest solo album, Something to Make You Feel Good.
While it is true many feel the music industry is in disarray it’s always a breath of fresh air to hear a new band or artist that’s not afraid to take chances with their musical expression. Wright right away gives off that classic R&B look many can’t get enough of – but he is unique. Add in a soulful funky finesse, organ, thick groove and a few powerful songs, a truthful conviction – well I’m rambling here. I think you get my point. With his latest musical offering “Something to Make you Feel Good” it’s clear to me Wright has surpassed what many consider to be the a-typical musical release in 2016. This album is in a league of its own. From the beginning notes of “Answer to my Prayers” to the final moments of “Storybook” you will experience an amazing soul-searching anthem that captures the funky grit, and an essence and a restless sprit. The fully loaded album delivers a string of compelling songs that will keep you entertained. Also present are messages that are boldly honest, powerful and a vibe that is unmistakably vintage 70’s Funk and classic R&B. Wright combines many impressive musical styles: like Blues, Funk, R&B, Jazzy-Folk, Americana and Traditional vocal Jazz popular in the 70’s. Digging a bit deeper I can even hear influences from Mo-Town, Saloon Jazz and Old time Soul. Musical comparables for me are Lou Rawls, Mose Allison, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and Les McCann and even a touch of Earth Wind and Fire. Some pieces I really like are “Looking for an Ugly Woman,” “I got Feelings to”, “Happiness” and “Peace of Mind” with their amazing messages, and slow moving groves. “She Don’t Believe in Love” definitely expands the possibilities for Wright as a radio hit in the making. Its obvious playing in bars and clubs over the years as a lounge singer has given him his fair share of stories and insights – great for writing soulful songs and melodies.
The production is top notch and the playing from all other band members just hits the spot. One can hear a tight horn section, impressive harmonies and a solid rhythm section behind it all. Wright creates a sound that will make virtually any listener feel right at home and relaxed. Yes – it will make you feel good. As a vocalist Wright delivers a smooth baritone that glides with precision through each piece. He’s got a good voice and a soulful look. On all tracks he delivers a clear yet infectious vocal persona. Much of this goes beyond traditional playing and songwriting. In the end Wright has a strong X-Factor and he is backed up by his experience. You don’t have to hear him sing a single not to get attached to him. Lyrics are also an important component for me whenever I listen and review music. In this aspect Wright paints an impressive travelers story deep between the spoken word with delivers messages of hope, love, love lost and gained once again – all testament to the Americana Soul and Spirit.
Rating: 4/5 Stars