The Singles: The Federal Years (1956-1960)
by James Brown
Released: Sep 2006
Label: Hip-O Select
The startling thing about this collection is that it's so conventional. Sure, there are times when Brown's voice lashes out into the improvisational rants -- rich with stirring pathos -- that would later become his trademark, but the music is surprisingly restrained: gospel-tinged doo-wop filled with puppy love and weepy heartbreak. However, there are some real treasures here. Singles "Try Me" and "Please, Please, Please" are among the strongest songs late-'50s R&B had to offer.