Categories :

Similar artists

Albums

HI-RES$14.99
CD$10.99

Soul - Released April 12, 2019 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
Eli "Paperboy" Reed emphasized how his 2016 album My Way Home brought him back to his roots, underscoring the point with its very title. 99 Cent Dreams, its 2019 sequel, proves how true that assessment was. Working once again for Yep Roc, Reed stays focused on retro sounds and vintage vibes, drawing deeply from the Southern-fried sounds of Memphis but adding some sick uptown grooves reminiscent of both the Windy City and the Motor City. A former hotshot guitar slinger, Reed reins in his solos throughout 99 Cent Dreams, pushing song, and especially sound, to the forefront. He's particularly unapologetic about his pining for the past, making a direct allusion to Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions' "People Get Ready" on "Coulda Had This" and otherwise playing upon shared memories of classic soul from the days before disco. Reed has a knack for easy-gliding melodies and the smarts to keep his songs tight -- nearly half of the album clocks in at under three minutes -- which helps keep 99 Cent Dreams cooking at a steady simmer even when it veers a little bit toward the tidy. Perhaps that's the inevitable byproduct of adhering too closely to the past -- everything winds up falling into its right place, with no allowance for accidents -- but even with this slight airless tendency, 99 Cent Dreams does deliver some potent throwback thrills. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
HI-RES$18.49
CD$14.99

Alternative & Indie - Released November 23, 2018 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
Boston is renowned for many things, but its soul/blues/R&B scene isn't one of them, but that's about to change with the advent of Eli "Paperboy" Reed and his backing band the True Loves. Reed and the Loves true love is '60s R&B in all its multi-faceted glory, and they flawlessly re-create the feel and sound of the times on their superb debut album Roll with You. Reed seems to have imbibed the greats of the day with his first breath, and their influences seep across his performances and his songwriting. "Am I Wasting My Time," for instance, is the best song Clarence Carter neither penned nor sung, but Reed makes you believe he did both. The title track "I'll Roll with You" evokes Sam Cooke at his most emotive, "Am I Wasting My Time" captures the soulful depths of Otis Redding, while Reed is even "The Satisfier" for devotees of James Brown. There are echoes of Motown girl groups, the excitement of duos like Sam & Dave and the Isley Brothers, and splashes of Stax stars galore. Reed is a veritable one-man revival show, belting out his songs with a fervor that's entirely authentic. The True Loves are his perfect match, as comfortable bounding through the kind of bouncy R&B that gave birth to rock, like "Won't Give Up Without a Fight," as they are with the funky "Satisfier." They strut through the exhilarating "(Doin' The) Boom Boom," and shine on such downtempo, haunting numbers as "She Walks" and "It's Easier," with every arrangement highlighting their skills. Neither the band nor the singer hit a single false or wrong note within this set. This sounds like a greatest hits set from the day, although every single song within is new, a classic album that every R&B/soul fan must have. © Jo-Ann Greene /TiVo
HI-RES$5.99
CD$4.49

Pop - Released May 12, 2020 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
CD$10.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 2016 | Yep Roc Records

Major labels proved not to be a welcome fit for retro-soul-blues revivalist Eli "Paperboy" Reed. Neither Come and Get It!, his 2010 album for Capitol, nor 2014's gussied-up wannabe crossover Nights Like This brought in the wider audience they so desperately worked to attain, leaving the guitarist to pursue an indie direction for 2016's My Way Home. The title makes it plain that Reed believes he's the prodigal son returning to his roots and, fittingly, My Way Home has a considerable gospel bent in its 11 songs. Since 2013, Reed has been teaching an after-school program called Gospel for Teens in Harlem and that sensibility infuses My Way Home, turning the record into a testament to reconnecting to R&B roots of all kinds. As pure sonics, this comes closest to the sharp, nervy retro-jump of 2008's Roll with You -- the record that started the ball rolling for Reed -- and a fair chunk of the album evokes pre-Motown R&B: echoes of Sam Cooke and Curtis Mayfield can be heard amidst some old-fashioned church music. Still, much of Reed's music remains rooted in the thick, swampy sound of Memphis in the late '60s, a place where soul consisted of equal parts country, blues, and rock, and that earthiness grounds My Way Home, lending grit to his testifying; it's exciting to hear the church brought back to R&B. This element is needed, even if it sometimes accentuates how Reed favors form over substance: he's drawn to a down-and-dirty authentic vibe more than the songs. Be that as it may, this vibe is so handsome and enthusiastically rendered that it's hard to resist, plus Reed does write tight tunes excised of anything extraneous. Ultimately, that lean sense of purpose is what drives My Way Home: by being lean, heartfelt, and mean, the record proves that Reed is back where he belongs. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD$12.99

Pop - Released April 25, 2014 | Warner Records

From the start, Eli "Paperboy" Reed has specialized in soul like they used to make back in the good old days, but being a revivalist only goes so far. Sooner or later, revivalists hit their glass ceiling, left with only two paths forward: either grind out a living on a blues circuit or place all their chits on a crossover. Reed opts for the latter on Nights Like This, his first album for Warner that also, for most intents and purposes, functions as a reboot of his entire career. He replaces his Stax foundation with a stack of Motown 7"s that are indeed more welcoming to his new style, a fashion heavily indebted to the productions of Mark Ronson, particularly his sharp neo-soul for Amy Winehouse. At times, Nights Like This quite explicitly draws connections between Ronson and Reed -- "Shock to the System" rides a Tamla bounce that's quite similar to "Valerie" -- but Reed also shows an awareness for sounds that have reached the charts in the 2010s. "Lonely Word" opens with a desolate piano plonk that's a dead-ringer for Katy Perry's "Roar," but Reed and his chief collaborator Ryan Spaker generally don't dive head-first into complete crossover territory (with its iciness, it's reminiscent of a warmer Ryan Tedder). He still favors tightly written, cannily structured songs, but this time favoring aggressively friendly melodies and R&B stomps to signifiers of authenticity, and that craftsmanship is why his music is appealing whether dressed in thrift-store suits or modern threads. Underneath all this gloss and glitz -- and, to be sure, there is a lot of razzle-dazzle here, enough so that it may alienate some fans of his earlier, simpler material -- Reed remains the same sharp, skillful soulman, one whose good taste and craft are hard to resist. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD$7.49

Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Capitol Records

Ever since the dawn of the electric guitar, white boys have sung the blues, some with considerably more success than others. Eli “Paperboy” Reed is part of that long tradition, but he stands apart from the pack as much as he belongs to it, due in large part to his age. Raised on CD reissues of classic blues and soul -- he was not even 10 when the first Complete Stax/Volt Singles box came out -- Reed has absorbed the sound and sensibility of classic ‘60s soul but sings without any white-boy blues affectations, totally comfortable in his own skin because nobody else his age, of any race, was attempting to make this kind of music. This can cause a kind of a disconnect -- Reed sounds so white when he sings, it’s disarming -- but he pours on the passion and has fully absorbed the tight turns of Stax and loves the sound as much as the structure, so much so that Come and Get It! -- his third LP and first for a major label -- feels a bit like an unearthed relic, built on songs and sounds that could pass for unheard gems if it wasn’t for Reed’s unapologetically white voice, free of affectations and ticks. Some of that may be due to producer Mike Elizondo’s work -- he manages to make this sound like a throwback without being stiff, and without having a hint of Mark Ronson’s hipster retroism for Amy Winehouse -- but he’s just articulating Reed’s gifts, letting the songs stand front and center. And that’s what’s remarkable about Come and Get It!: this is not a modern-day blues album, it’s a classic soul album, with almost all the tracks clocking in at 3:30 or less, leaving very little room for showboating solos. All concentration is on the tunes themselves, with the band kicking them toward kineticism, Reed channeling all his energy into making the songs sing, and they wind up sticking, sounding a bit like forgotten classics upon first listen, then winding up as familiar favorites upon the second. If there is any fault here, it’s that Reed’s voice remains perennially boyish, sometimes preventing this from achieving a level of gravity, but there’s no attempt to hide this: it’s an honest reflection of who Reed is, a young kid from Boston in love with the Southern sounds of the ‘60s and intent on carrying them on, even if he invites ridicule or scorn. He believes it, man, and based on Come and Get It!, it’s hard not to believe it too. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD$10.99

Soul - Released June 8, 2018 | Yep Roc Records

HI-RES$1.49
CD$0.99

Soul - Released March 22, 2019 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
HI-RES$14.99
CD$10.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 29, 2008 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 25, 2016 | Yep Roc Records

CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - Released May 6, 2016 | Yep Roc Records

HI-RES$1.49
CD$0.99

Soul - Released January 23, 2019 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 4, 2016 | Yep Roc Records

CD$10.99

Blues - Released January 1, 2005 | Double E Records

HI-RES$1.49
CD$0.99

Soul - Released February 22, 2019 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
HI-RES$1.49
CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 15, 2017 | Yep Roc Records

Hi-Res
CD$8.99

Pop - Released July 31, 2013 | Q Dee Records

CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2018 | Yep Roc Records

CD$0.99

Soul - Released November 13, 2017 | Yep Roc Records

CD$0.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 8, 2016 | Yep Roc Records