By Quinn Phillips, Electronic Co-Director
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, New York based funk and soul band, is set to release their seventh studio album, “Soul of a Woman,” on Friday, November 17.
The release comes almost exactly one year after the death of the band’s lead singer and namesake, Sharon Jones. Jones announced that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013, but continued performing until her death in November 2016 according to the bass player and producer for the album, Bosco Mann.
“The last couple of years, Sharon was battling,” Mann said. “When she was strongest, that’s when we’d go into the studio– Sharon couldn’t phone it in, so we would only work when she was really feeling it.”
Despite Jones’ struggles, her performance on the album is powerful.
“Matter of Time” is the album’s first track and also serves as the album’s first single. Jones’ soulful singing leads the band’s instruments to a high energy jazz-like start. Mann said on the band’s website that the first half of the album was intended to play to Jones’ strengths that she could perform well on stage.
However, the band decided to change the tone of the album for the second half to showcase Jones’ vocals.
“Side one is the more raw live side,” Mann said, “while side two is more moody and orchestrated– more of a departure from [Jones’] carnivorous live persona.”
The album’s second single, “Call On God,” exemplifies Jones’ emotional side. According to the Associated Press, Jones wrote the song in the 1970s and the band recorded it in 2007. However, the band added backing vocals from the members of the choir Jones led from the Universal Church of God after her death.
While Jones’ death has certainly affected the music world, her final album “Soul of a Woman” does not show any weakness on her part. She continued to perform as well as she could until the very end and this album does well in showing off her persona and talents.