Heart & Soul

Johnny Adams

Org Music, 2019


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Heart & Soul is a compendium record that was originally released in 1969 and served as some of the best tunes that Johnny Adams penned in the 1960s. It mashes gospel, pop, funk, R&B, and, most importantly, blues; plenty of genres collide here on an aptly titled album. The version we're talking about here, a Record Store Day Exclusive, has the classic remastered from the original masters and on colored wax, and it is limited to a mere 1000 copies. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Georgia Morning Dew” starts out the groove filled listen with bouncy, country funk ideas where Adams' strong, friendly vocals steer the ship and horns complement the affair. The lively keys and soulful “In A Moment Of Weakness” follows. “Real Life Living Hurtin' Man” brings us into ballad-like territory with emotive vocals and spirited organs as well as bluesy guitar lines, and “Lonely Man” keeps the atmosphere pleading with very versatile singing from Adams, while the keys and restrained percussion keep the setting introspective. One of the album's best, “I Won't Cry,” sits right at the halfway mark with an oldies influence and plenty of warm sing-a-longs and gritty melody.

Second half highlights include the high notes and sparse instrumentation of “Release Me,” the upbeat horns and swift pace of “Proud Woman,” and the fluid guitar licks of “I Can't Be All Bad.” Near the end, Adams offers the classic rock inspired “Living On Your Love,” while “Reconsider Me,” one of Adams' biggest hits on the R&B charts, closes out the record.

An artist who was truly ahead of his time, Adams is at his finest on Heart & Soul. Though, unfortunately, he died in 1998 of cancer at the age of 66, if this collection of tunes is what the younger generation recognizes him by, it's hard to argue that wouldn't be justice for a talent that never saw the commercial success he deserved.

Rating: A-

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© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Org Music, and is used for informational purposes only.