Lee Fields & The Expressions "Special Night"

If you want to make a great soul record, you need a few specific elements. You need a charismatic singer to spin tales of love and loss, empowerment and redemption. You need great backup singers to affirm those sentiments and drive them home. To make a great soul record you need a tight band to create an environment for those singers to shine in and to embellish those thoughts and feelings with a musical nod and wink, adding those extra bits of emotion unattainable by the human voice. With Special Night, Lee Fields & The Expressions have crafted a great soul record.

Awash in funky rhythms, Special Night is a testament to the legacy of Mr. Fields who has been releasing albums since the late 1960s. The Expressions, Truth & Soul’s house band, drive the songs forward with Hip-Hop-influenced drums, flashy (but not brash) horns, and guitars absolutely dripping with reverb.

The opening song, which also serves as the title track and Fields’ mission statement, burns slowly, telling a lover how appreciated they are and ending with Fields speaking of the sadness of feeling lonely. Throughout the record, Fields reminds us that, whether our relationships are with one other person or with the entire world, we must work together to make them the best they can be.

Joey Spehar (The Morning Mix)