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Robert Cray Band's "In My Soul" Reviewed

The Robert Cray Bang get soulful

The Robert Cray Band get soulful

As long as his bassist Richard Cousins is around, the 80s blues superstar Robert Cray is gonna sound a whole lot like Robert Cray but on In My Soul maybe with more emphasis on Memphis Soul. But I have to go along with the naysayers, if not for his 80s stuff, certainly this album is a little too tasty for its own good.

Cray sounds soulful but distracted on “Fine yesterday” and neutrally intense on the more bluesy Isaac Hayes  “Your Good Thing Is Going To End”. The beat drags a little. The Booker T tribute “Hip Tight Onions” pumps that organ real well and holds a groove for every single minute but it is the exception not the rule.

The sax pressured “Deep In My Soul” isn’t a good enough a song and the point that Cray is not as great as influences is underlined by the albums best track, the Otis Redding obscurity “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” where despite Cray not getting all of the vocal, all of the sound is absolutely gotten and the song takes off.

I admit I am not cray for Cray and never have been, but usually he can at least satisfy my blues jones and this doesn’t really do it. Not soulful enough of a singer (though a good enough guitarist for sure) to nail classic soul, he is at his best when he lets his guitar do the talking and he doesn’t here.

This isn’t a bad album and should keep the faithful happy but for the rest of us, Cray doesn’t manage to nail it shut.

Grade: B-

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