In describing the sound of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, it's difficult to avoid using terms like "retro," "vintage" or "throwback." But what is perhaps more reminiscent than their sonic flavor is the "professional" manner in which they go about their business, musically speaking. Flawless in their execution, Jones is backed again by The Dap Kings. And their playing on the new album is, per usual, tight, powerful and of course flavorful. For a taste, listen to the album title track "I Learned The Hard Way."
As professional a group of players The Dap Kings are, Jones herself harnesses all the qualities of a classic soul front woman. She's convincing on love laments like the album lead-off “The Game Gets Old." Her personality shines on the albums most currently relevant tune "Money." And her confidence never falters on songs like "I Give It Back."
Most of all, Jones is commanding on I Learned The Hard Way. In an evolution that's seen this once prison-guard take the stage and record with the likes of Michael Buble and David Byrne, Jones is truly at her peak with her band. And I Learned The Hard Way is proof of that.