Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - I Learned the Hard Way

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - I Learned the Hard Way

On the first listen to I Learned The Hard Way, by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, I was not overwhelmed. The energy I’ve come to expect from the Dap Kings was absent, and it didn’t grab my attention. That was exactly the problem, I had it playing as background music, and it is anything but. The second time around I paid better attention, and immediately changed my mind. This was in fact the Dap Kings I’ve come to know, and just as good as always.

Being one of the forerunners of “soul revival,” this album seems like a natural progression. It’s yet another step in their musical evolution. Since their first album, they’ve been exploring soul as a genre, starting with the Southern sound. As they’ve progressed, they have lost some of the grit and raw power that were seen in the groups that recorded with Stax, and have transitioned into the refined sound that emanated from Motown records of the time. They seem to be following the trends from the original heyday of soul. Just as fans and musicians alike tried to define the idea of “soul,” the Dap Kings are still exploring what it means to be a soul group.

This album is not meant to be an energetic, captivating album… it’s meant to soothe. As with any good Motown release, this album is just plain sexy. The music is about slow grooves and danceable rhythms. The lyrics are all centered on independence, confidence, and overcoming heartbreak. The combination culminates into a perfect spring album; it conveys a rebirth; a sense of renewal.

The band is as tight as ever. Every musical element is exactly in sync with Sharon’s vocals. The separate elements of the band; strings, horns and percussion play off each other with an ease comparable to the best of the original soul bands. They are utterly confident in both their knowledge and ability to pull off a record as such. My only worry in their exploration is that in this album they are simulating the last moments of the original soul era. One can only hope they don’t follow history too closely and stop here.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - I Learned The Hard Way, reviewed by Daniel G on 2010-05-05T11:14:09+00:00 rating 4.2 out of 5



One Response about “Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way”

  • Anonymous says:

    Something told me inside
    That your love was untrue
    (something told me inside)
    (something told me inside)
    You said, “Girl, It’s alright.
    I would never hurt You”
    (you said girl it’s alright)
    (you said girl it’s alright)

    Just to be by your side
    I would’ve walked through fire
    (just to be by your side)
    (just to be by your side)
    now it hurts me inside
    (just to hear your name)
    (just to hear your name)

    I learned the hard way
    that your your love was cruel
    I learned the hard way baby
    just to be your fool
    I learned the hard way
    I learned the hard way about you
    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)

    When I opened my eyes
    It was all around me
    (when I opened my eyes)
    (When I opened my eyes)
    clouds of perfume and lies
    and a hotel key
    (Lots of perfume and lies)
    (Lots of perfume and lies)

    And when I answered your phone
    I heard a gasp and a click
    (When I answered your phone)
    (when I answered your phone)
    Was that wrong number wrong?
    Or was she after your love?

    Oooh, just to be by your side
    I would’ve walked through fires
    Now it hurts me inside
    just to hear your name

    I learned the hard way
    that your your love was cruel
    I learned the hard way, baby
    just to be your fool
    I learned the hard way
    I learned the hard way about you
    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)

    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)

    Just to be by your side
    I would’ve walked through fires
    Now it hurts me inside
    Just to hear your name

    I learned the hard way
    that your your love was cruel
    I learned the hard way baby
    just to be your fool
    I learned the hard way
    I learned the hard way about you
    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)
    (Now I know about you)