Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise
T.J. Simon's #25 album for 2002
First Appeared at The Music Box, February 2003, Volume 10, #2
Written by T.J. Simon
Forget everything you think you know about what a 51-year-old, blind, Alabama-born, African-American singer might sound like. Robert Bradley is not a blues man. Instead, he sings soulful, jamming, classic-sounding rock ’n‘ roll. More often than not, the music on his 2002 release New Ground sounds like Peter Gabriel or Randy Newman, and at times he’s reminiscent of Ray Charles (a stereotypical cop-out, I know). The album’s best track is the lovely piano ballad Exist for Love — undoubtedly the most soulful song of this young century. The other high point is the tune that filled Bradley’s collection plate when he was a Detroit street musician, the lovingly nationalistic Born in America. He wrote the song in 1979 during the Iranian hostage crisis, and if the U.S. ever needs a triage dose of patriotism again, the nation should turn to Bradley’s homage before that awful Lee Greenwood number. Check out Robert Bradley and be surprised. ˝
New Ground is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box