Lift Your Spirit

Lift Your Spirit

by Aloe BlaccAloe Blacc


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Like fellow retro-minded rapper-turned-singer Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc moved from the revered independent Stones Throw to a major label, but he did so after one of his singles -- 2010's "I Need a Dollar" -- went Top Ten in ten territories. Between the song's unlikely rise and an Interscope contract, Aloe co-wrote and fronted Avicii's peculiar folk-EDM hybrid "Wake Me Up," an even bigger hit. Thankfully, Lift Your Spirit doesn't attempt to capitalize on the success of the Avicii collaboration, unless the zero-percent EDM version of "Wake Me Up," placed third on the U.S. album, is factored. Just as Hawthorne's major-label debut presented his throwback sound with sanded surfaces, this set does have some contemporary sheen. Compared to Good Things, it sounds like its making was much more considered and laborious. That goes more for the material and productions than for Aloe's everyman voice, still redolent of a young and optimistic Bill Withers with an old soul. It remains as easy on the ears as a worn pair of slippers on the feet. Aloe co-produced all but three of the songs, with veteran DJ Khalil involved with all but two of them. Several cuts -- dance party numbers "Can You Do This" and "Chasing," the hat-on-heart ballad "Red Velvet Seat," and the exultant, Elton John-referencing "The Man," boosted by a gospel choir -- are spiffier spins on Aloe's earlier soul stylings. More surprising, "Here Today" trails "Wake Me Up" with more folky platitudes, this time with a stadium "all together now" chorus, while "The Hand Is Quicker" has a blues edge. One cut made with Pharrell Williams, "Love Is the Answer," takes no time to slip into an easy disco-funk groove and fits into the album with its sunny outlook and elegant horns and strings. The lone song with a sentiment that can't be summarized by the album's title, "Ticking Bomb" ("The whole world's sitting on a ticking bomb, so keep your calm and carry on"), doesn't seem right within the sequence but is a career highlight. The album's content is otherwise reflected in the title. It could use more of that grit heard in the earlier releases.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/11/2014
Label: Interscope Records
UPC: 0602537734900
catalogNumber: 002016402

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Aloe Blacc   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Elton John   Composer
Bernie Taupin   Composer
Chin Injeti   Producer
Pharrell Williams   Composer,Producer
Gretchen Anderson   Producer
Antonina Armato   Composer
Mike Einziger   Composer
Harold Lilly   Composer,Producer
Aloe Blacc   Producer
DJ Khalil   Composer,Producer
Daniel Seeff   Composer
Stephanie Hsu   Creation
Sam Barsh   Composer
Karen Goodman   Marketing
Alex Finkin   Producer
Pranam Injeti   Composer
Dammo Farmer   Composer,Producer
Tim Bergling   Composer
Rock Mafia   Producer
Justin Abbink   Art Direction
Ryan Gamsby   Producer
Samantha Tripses   Marketing Coordinator
Justine Massa   Creative Coordinator
Nicole Bilzerian   Marketing
Tim "Rock Mafia" James   Composer
Antonina Schmalholz   Composer
Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins   Composer
Khalil Abdul-Rahman   Composer

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