Charles Bradley Changes Daptone Records
The tone is set for Charles Bradley’s third studio album on the opening song, a cover of God Bless America, in which he sweetly pledges his love to his country before being joined by a gospel choir for a rousing chorus. Where on previous LPs he’d asked us “why is it so hard to make it in America?” and crooned that “the world is going up in flames”, Changes is more consistently positive, reflecting on the changes Bradley has been through in his life. Some years on since the discovery that drove him from a life of struggle to finding success in his sixties, the world may look like a happier place to the screaming eagle of soul. Anyone lucky enough to have witnessed the recent live tour with His Extraordinaires will testify that the shows brim with love and positivity.
However, the sadness still lingers. Bradley thinks of his late mother when singing the title track, a cover of Black Sabbath ́s Changes. And on Change for the World, he reflects on current race and violence issues, before howling out a positive chorus.
Soul covers of alternative classics have been a key feature of Bradley ́s recording career – to date he’s covered Nirvana, Neil Young, and now Black Sabbath. However, original lyrics here on Good to Be Back Home and Nobody But You are a truer reflection on the outlook of this incredible character. Bradley may have the power to emotively apply other artist’s lyrics to his own life narrative, but it’s the original material here that makes Changes most honest record to date.