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I Learned the Hard Way

I Learned the Hard Way by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Released: Apr 2010
Label: Daptone Records
Jones and Co. expand the range of their crate-digging sound on their latest, moving beyond dirty/tight funk and soul to also encompass early '60s R&B, girl group and doo-wop and bits of Motown. The result is perhaps even more stylized than their earlier efforts. Each tiny detail meticulously attended to: perfectly slippery horns, pretty little backup choruses, plinking keys in just the right spots. It's quite a piece of craftmanship, though they did unfortunately forego the big, bombastic tracks that find Jones completely cutting loose and really sassing the listener ("Money" comes close).
Rachel Devitt