St PAUL and the BROKEN BONES – ” Sea Of Noise ” Best Albums Of 2016

Posted: December 10, 2016 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

St Paul Broken Bones 2016

While “Sea Of Noise”—the follow-up to their widely hailed debut, 2014 ‘s Half The City—doesn’t shirk from offering commentary on society’s failings, it doesn’t revel in them either. To the contrary, it attempts to rally its listeners to a higher calling where intelligence and inspiration take precedence over name-calling and accusations. Singer and frontman Paul Janeway exhorts his listeners to find that higher purpose that great music strives to attain. Like another of soul music’s revered roots, the rousing gospel sounds that gave congregations reason to look heavenward, St. Paul & The Broken Bones use their effusive, ecstatic revelry to rouse their audiences and encourage them to get caught up in a kind of aural delirium.

There’s a real soul music is named as such. It comes from the soul. It soothes the soul. And Birmingham, Ala.’s best octet St. Paul & The Broken Bones has soul for sure. Frontman Paul Janeway shimmies and prances in the most impressively flamboyant suits and shoes and climbs on drum kits and speakers too tall to crawl down from without assistance, all while delivering lines in a tenor/falsetto with religious-like fervor. But, as this is a band affair, The Broken Bones never fracture or falter. The horn section rings in all the right places. Bassist and co-founder Jesse Phillips stays right in step with drummer Andrew Lee. And lead guitarist Browan Lollar adds a rock ‘n’ roll touch in his solos that’s exclusive to the band’s live sets. When all forces combine, whether Janeway wails about broken hearts or civil rights, St. Paul & The Broken Bones reach a place in their audiences that can’t come from any place other than the soul.

This Birmingham, Alabama, soul act toggle the traits typically associated with men or women, with St. Paul Janeway (not actually canonized, but give it time) lending gospel testimony to the different ways we can rescue and support and, sadly, leave each other. When he declares, “I’ll be your woman,” it sounds like a monumental act of empathy and compassion, proving that soul music doesn’t need a revival with bands like the Broken Bones around.

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