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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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Back in 1985, Aaron Neville offered fans a glimpse of his love of doo wop with the EP Orchid in the Storm. Over a quarter-century later, he returns to it on My True Story. Doo wop pre-dates rock & roll. Its reliance on the human voice in group harmony communicates not only melody but rhythm, and influenced the sounds of Motown, Stax, and early rock & roll. Even Frank Zappa claimed it as a prime influence. Co-produced by Keith Richards and Blue Note label boss Don Was, the dozen tunes here make prime use of Neville's voice, placing his high, smooth, vulnerable tenor way up front; he is backed by vintage-era doo wop singers and an all-star band that includes Richards and Greg Leisz on guitars, Benmont Tench on keyboards, bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer George R. Receli. Lenny Pickett helps out on horns and winds on a number of tracks as well. The production is clean, the musical backing used more as texture and color than as real support -- Neville and his vocalists offer all the impetus needed to pull this off (indeed one wonders what this set might have sounded like a cappella). The tunes are all classics. Standouts include Lieber & Stoller's "Ruby Baby," a medley of Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman's "This Magic Moment" and "True Love," Hank Ballard's "Work with Me Annie" (featuring a guest appearance from Art Neville on B-3), Sylvester Bradford's and Al Lewis' "Tears on My Pillow," and Curtis Mayfield's "Gypsy Woman." The latter marries doo wop to early Chicago soul, and Neville celebrates this in his reading. "Be My Baby," which will forever be associated with the Ronettes and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, is stripped back to the source music that inspired its authors, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Spector -- even when adding a Pickett flute solo to the chart. Ultimately, My True Story is a smooth, mostly laid-back, and soulful recording by Neville. He provides a healthy -- sometimes overly -- reverential respect for the original material. Coupled with his vocals, these restrained yet imaginative arrangements offer some surprising twists and turns. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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R&B/Soul - Released September 19, 2006 | SBME Strategic Marketing Group

For Aaron Neville, the impact of Hurricane Katrina could only be expressed through music, specifically on songs that are uplifting, meaningful, and close to the heart. Bring It on Home...The Soul Classics is about recovery: a positive response not only to the natural disaster of the hurricane, but undoubtedly to the blasé attitude about it from the federal government. Tragedy can bring out the best in people, and Neville's disc not only aims to deal with his personal pain, but specifically reaches out to those who survived the storm the best way he knows how. These songs are familiar enough to deliver the listener a sense of warmth which hopefully opens the door to healing, grace, and power. Out of the 13 tracks, four are duets: with Mavis Staples on "Respect Yourself," Chaka Khan on "Let's Stay Together," brother Art Neville with David Sanborn for "People Get Ready," and Chris Botti on "Rainy Night in Georgia." Katrina's aftermath found other musicians reaching out to their audience as well, musicians who have created a few painfully triumphant releases like Dr. John & the Lower 911's Sippiana Hericane, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's reworking of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album What's Goin' On, and the various artists who contributed to Our New Orleans: A Benefit Album for the Gulf Coast. It's safe to say Aaron Neville's Bring it on Home...The Soul Classics should be added to that list. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1991 | A&M

When Aaron Neville signed with A&M in the early '90s, optimists were hoping for some five-star soul gems along the lines of his classic '60s recordings. Instead, his first A&M date, Warm Your Heart, found the veteran New Orleans singer taking a much more pop-minded approach, with generally decent results. While Neville didn't abandon soul music, this CD made it clear that A&M was intent on making him a major hit in the pop market (which had been exposed to him in 1989 thanks to his duets with Linda Ronstadt). Though hardly in a class with such classics as "Tell It Like It Is" and "She Took You for a Ride," tracks like the haunting "That's the Way She Loves," the gritty "Angola Bound," and a remake of the Main Ingredient's "Everybody Plays the Fool" showed that Neville still had plenty of warmth and charisma. But although this is far from a bad album, it must be stressed that a collection of his '60s classics would be a much wiser investment. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Verve

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R&B - Released January 1, 2009 | Suite 102

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Soul - Released May 13, 2020 | Sunset Blvd Records

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Soul - Released July 15, 2016 | Tell It Records

Three years after the release of My Story, his lone album for Blue Note, Aaron Neville relaunched the Tell It label (through Kobalt) with the very different Apache. In a way, it's among his freshest and yet also one of his oldest-sounding solo albums. Surprisingly, the compositions are strictly originals, all written by Neville with producer and multi-instrumentalist Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce) and Dave Gutter (Rustic Overtones). Featuring a thoroughly organic sound rooted in late-'60s/early-'70s R&B, like something that would have come out around the same time as the deep classic "Hercules," it's retro-cast from front to back, and Neville himself is frequently nostalgic. The songs are dealt out in a variety of modes, however, while the lyrical themes are universal and timeless -- in some cases, as on "Fragile World," unfortunately so. The album opens in dramatic, pure Blaxploitation style -- gnashing cyclical rhythms, flashy horn stabs, and all -- with Neville assuring devotion through turbulence. Themes of perseverance and reflective self-improvement recur in sweat-drenched ballads and rolling grooves alike. The songs that resonate most tend to be those that are most obviously drawn from Neville's life -- the strutting New Orleans tribute "Stompin Ground" and the backward-glancing lament "Make Your Momma Cry" among them. Just ahead of the latter is another highlight, "Sarah Ann"; on My True Story, Neville performed a medley of songs popularized by the Drifters, and here, he keeps the group's spirit alive with a redemptive, grateful ballad about his wife. Apache could have easily slid into uninvolving sentimentality, but each song works some combination of the heart, mind, and hips. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released May 26, 2006 | Charly Records

Seems amazing that Aaron Neville, given the commercial dimensions of "Tell It Like It Is," all but disappeared off the recording map for the next decade before the Neville Brothers' band took off. Hercules looks like it could shed might shed more comprehensive light on that early-'70s void (and be a companion piece to brother Art's Mardi Gras Rock & Roll compilation on Ace) but it doesn't really turn the trick. The disc is equally divided between pre- and post-hit periods, with a later version of "Tell It Like It Is" that features more of his trademark fancy vocal filigrees as the dividing line. (It's not as good as the original, but then how can you improve on perfection?) The early-'60s material includes anthology favorites like "Over You," "Wrong Number," "Waiting at the Station," and "Let's Live" that never wear out their welcome, and a couple of less familiar up-tempo romps in "Get Out of My Life" and "Hey Little Alice," the latter one of few original songs by Aaron Neville to ever surface. The limber "Strutting on Sunday" clearly announces a shift to more sophisticated arrangements and the modern soul era, but the transition isn't jarring, given the continuity provided by both Neville's voice and Allen Toussaint's production style. "Make Me Strong" is recognizably Toussaint circa the early '70s, and the title track -- its street life saga the one break from love songs -- aims for the "Freddie's Dead"/"Superfly" zone and largely gets there with bass riffs and timbales flurries. But things sag badly after that, except for a good version of brother Art's Specialty hit "All These Things" to wrap things up. "Been So Wrong" nosedives into sappy pop with cluttered strings and horns that are way too cloying. "Greatest Love" is a better effort in that vein, but the standard "Cry Me a River" sounds like a naked jazz demo with electric guitar and bass, minimal drums, and too many Aaron vocal flourishes. Still, it's far better than "Been So Wrong." Hercules ultimately promises more than it delivers. It's not a bad collection, but given the easy access to the earliest material on other anthologies and the spottiness of the later songs, it's not essential, either. © Don Snowden /TiVo
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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 1993 | A&M

Aaron Neville's Soulful Christmas is at once familiar yet progressive, traditional, prayerful, heartfelt, fun, and sexy. Neville lends his angelic voice to timeless holiday standards, resulting in one of the more compelling American holiday albums of the 1990s. Neville's treatment of classics such as "O Holy Night," "Silent Night," and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is absolutely stirring, and he infuses these lullabies with so much warmth and sincerity that they can even touch the hardest, most cynical audiences. Neville also covers more contemporary tunes, such as "Please Come Home for Christmas," and augments his warm renditions of "The Christmas Song" and "White Christmas" with classic pop arrangements, filled with lush strings, piano, and even saxophone. The real gems, however, include the irresistibly swingin' "Such a Night," which should become mandatory for any Christmas party, and the equally intoxicating, hand clapping "Louisiana Christmas Day." The album ends on a spiritual tone with the tender "Star Carol" and the moving, organ-accompanied "The Bells of St. Mary's." Neville wholly succeeds in crafting a fun, Cajun-spiced yet traditional Christmas album, which manages to capture all of the joy, passion, spirituality ,and nostalgia which goes along with the holiday season. © Jose F. Promis /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1993 | A&M

Although Steve Lindsey tries a little too hard to make The Grand Tour appeal to everyone, Aaron Neville manages to make the album another solid addition to his latter-day catalog. Lindsey keeps the sound of the album strictly in the mainstream, piling on layers of keyboards, vocalists, and drum machines which neuter any rootsy elements in the music. This is particularly unfortunate, since the selection of songs is interesting, ranging from George Jones and Chuck Berry to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Nevertheless, Neville rises to the material, not the production, giving the music an emotional core. Not every teaming works, but enough songs hit the target to make The Grand Tour worthwhile for dedicated fans. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1997 | A&M Records

Thanks to a few inspired collaborations, To Make Me Who I Am finds Aaron Neville continuing his streak of solid contemporary R&B albums. Divided between co-written originals by Neville and covers of professional songwriters like Babyface and Diane Warren, To Make Me Who I Am is filled with strong material, highlighted by two duets with Linda Ronstadt ("First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," "Please Remember Me"). Longtime fans might find the polished surfaces of the album a bit too slick, but Neville's singing remains elegant and graceful, helping to push the album past its MOR leanings. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released September 19, 2006 | Burgundy Records

For Aaron Neville, the impact of Hurricane Katrina could only be expressed through music, specifically on songs that are uplifting, meaningful, and close to the heart. Bring It on Home...The Soul Classics is about recovery: a positive response not only to the natural disaster of the hurricane, but undoubtedly to the blasé attitude about it from the federal government. Tragedy can bring out the best in people, and Neville's disc not only aims to deal with his personal pain, but specifically reaches out to those who survived the storm the best way he knows how. These songs are familiar enough to deliver the listener a sense of warmth which hopefully opens the door to healing, grace, and power. Out of the 13 tracks, four are duets: with Mavis Staples on "Respect Yourself," Chaka Khan on "Let's Stay Together," brother Art Neville with David Sanborn for "People Get Ready," and Chris Botti on "Rainy Night in Georgia." Katrina's aftermath found other musicians reaching out to their audience as well, musicians who have created a few painfully triumphant releases like Dr. John & the Lower 911's Sippiana Hericane, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's reworking of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album What's Goin' On, and the various artists who contributed to Our New Orleans: A Benefit Album for the Gulf Coast. It's safe to say Aaron Neville's Bring it on Home...The Soul Classics should be added to that list. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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R&B - Released April 18, 1995 | A&M

Aaron Neville is an unlikely example of a '60s soul hero who managed to reinvent himself as a '90s pop star without compromising his integrity. Drawing on pop as well as the type of New Orleans soul that put him on the map, Neville proved that he could once again be quite marketable. Like Warm Your Heart, The Tattooed Heart isn't on a par with Neville's early efforts, but nonetheless has a lot going for it. Though not breathtaking, material ranging from the soul ballad "Show Some Emotion" to the earthy rock number "Down Into Muddy Water" and the reggae-influenced hit "Can't Stop My Heart from Loving You (The Rain Song)" is honest and enjoyable. Another high point of this CD is an inspired remake of Bill Withers' "Use Me." Because an urban contemporary approach didn't interest him, the "new" Neville received little support from Black radio -- but on pop stations, he'd become a high priority. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Miscellaneous - Released February 19, 2016 | SnapShot

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Soul - Released September 6, 2010 | Acrobat

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Soul - Released February 1, 2008 | Par-Lo

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R&B - Released June 8, 2006 | Charly Records

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Soul - Released April 24, 2012 | Dance Plant Records Inc

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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