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Old 04-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
TheBig3's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 9,252
Default Dr. John - Locked Down

Locked Down
Studio album by Dr. John
Released April 3, 2012
Genre Funk
Label Nonesuch Records
Producer Dan Auerbach

Locked Down was the first Dr. John album I've heard, and I can't honestly recall what music of his I'd heard before this. To be honest, the thing popped up on Spotify and I thought "aw what the hell, i'll give it a spin (click?)"

First of all, I was pleasantly surprised. Having no context to judge the album by within his own catalog, I guess I would go ahead and describe the album as Creole Funk - with one foot in the Jubilee Carnival, and one in the backstreets of New Orleans, full of the ominous presence of poverty, crime, and actual human concern.

The lyrics tend to be middle of the road for most of the album, nothing to write home about but nothing to cringe over. Its the sort of lyrics you wish had been sung in another language you didn't have proficiency in so you could imagine a depth that isn't there. Still the music on this album more than makes up for its lyrical anemia.

With deep bass, well-arranged harmonic, yet haunting organs, and sprinkled vocal flourishes from back-up singers, whoever produced this album (Dan Auerbach) clearly knew what he was doing. The brass here knows its role and apparently comes from the school of Method Acting. On Big Shot - the saxophone creeps along like a 1973 Cutlass Supreme, piloted by some "Sabotage" (Beastie Boys) understudies with terrible mustaches and a 16 oz. Styrofoam of coffee.

Theres a religious undertone to many of the songs, but with the exception of "God is Sure God", the holy father is defined more by his absence in the narrative than by his presence (Happy Easter, everyone). Still, to suggest this is a gospel album would be wrong. Locked Down is a recreating of the 70's funk that was the birth child of Blues and Gospel - the faith for the future and the depression of the present. To steal a like "We can't know where we're going if we don't know where we've been." Locked Down in a strong reminder of what we're returning to musically, culturally, and cosmically. Its best if we leave out the deep thoughts, grab a drink and some pork ribs and call it a jam.

Top Tracks:

1. Revolution
2. Big Shot
3. Kingdom of Izzness
4. You Lie

Last edited by TheBig3; 04-08-2012 at 10:50 AM.
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