Victim of Love

Late-blooming soul belter Charles Bradley, who released his debut album in 2011 at the age of 62, is the best kind of retro act: a fully committed one. Victim of Love, Bradley's second LP, makes no bones about the echoes it carries: James Brown, Otis Redding and other Sixties and Seventies soul heroes, evoked with crisp period-perfect production and classicistic arrangements. It's Bradley's voice that seals the deal: When he saunters through the Motown-inflected groove of "You Put the Flame on It," stomps and shrieks the J.B.'s-like funk of "Confusion" and, especially, digs into tearstreaked ballads ("Crying in the Chapel"), he sounds like an heir, not an impersonator.

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