Album Review: Aloe Blacc—”Lift Your Spirit”

By Brandon Benguaich

Although he is known for hit-single “Wake Me Up,” Aloe Blacc is far from a cliché of metaphors and catchy synthesized melodies. Instead, Blacc is soul, R complete with some B, and one of the only artists out there with a chart-topping single and multiple tracks that brings artists back to their roots. His album, Lift Your Spirit, does as is suggested in the title, while taking some risks on this new album, which pay off.

Lift Your Spirit album art.

Lift Your Spirit album art

After listening to the singles “Wake Me Up,” and “The Man,” the album delves deep into a pocket of soul mixed with some more heavily produced pop songs. Although this album is produced significantly more than his other releases, it is still a gem and a logical progression that many popular artists undergo. However, Blacc maintains his integrity throughout the album, and hopefully he continues to do so. I do feel that this shift to a heavier amount of production is good in combination with his artistry and true musicianship, ultimately standing out in a crowd of mediocre albums heard day after day. Notably, Blacc received input from Pharrell Williams and Elton John, which really contributes to this album. Furthermore, this album contains many different samples, including a gunshot on the track “Can You Do This,” making the listener want to jump up and down in rhythm.

Blacc pours his heart out throughout Lift Your Spirit. “Soldier in the City” is the first notable track, as it’s fun, catchy, and makes me wish I could groove as hard as the band that plays the song. Even though Blacc repeats the lyrics, “The soldier in the city,” about two dozen times, it’s still an irresistibly catchy song. “Love Is the Answer” is truly the answer to all the questions in my mind, and it is also the answer to why the walls of my bedroom are shaking from the booming bass line. Keeping these two songs in mind, it’s important to note that a cool feature of this album is the instrumentals, which outline Aloe’s vocals perfectly, accentuating the nuances of his voice throughout the melody to create a sort of ‘counter-melody’ that is sure to keep you jiving.

I can sense a theme of love within Lift Your Spirit, probably due to the tracks, “Wanna Be with You,” “Lift Your Spirit,” and “Red Velvet Seat.” The lyrics are suggestive, the bass lines are seductive, and the songs are equipped with raw vocals. This album is sure to give tingles to whoever is listening to it. The only way to tell for yourself is to fall for Blacc’s charm on Lift Your Spirit. However, I must warn you that if you listen to it yourself, you will not be able to stop dancing.

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