The album starts with an acoustic version of Wake Me Up and I appreciate Aloe Blacc for making skipping this song as easy as possible. Don’t get me wrong: I really liked both versions of the monster hit, but it’s being played way too much for me to be able to still listen to it1. With The Man, Blacc showcases a confidence you usually find on rap-records: “I believe every lie that I ever told / Paid for every heart that I ever stole / I paid my cause and I didn’t fold / Well it ain’t that hard when you got soul / This is my world”. You’re balancing a fine line between arrogance and confidence when you repeat “I’m the man” several times as a chorus, but Aloe Blacc delivers it with so much soul that he always stays on the right side of that line.
The Orange County-born singer teams up with Pharrell Williams on the album’s best track (and probably next single) Love Is The Answer. The track is incredibly catchy and it wouldn’t surprise me if it reaches the top of many charts when it’s officially released. On Ticking Bomb2 you can find some less positive lyrics, but in the end the message is the same: “Don’t wait to say goodbye, you’re running out of time / Whatever you believe, it’s easy to see / The whole world’s sitting on a ticking bomb / So keep your calm and carry on”. The record comes to an end with Eyes of a Child, a beautiful written and produced track. And with its smooth but soulful sound, it’s an exemplary Aloe Blacc song.
With Lift Your Spirit, Aloe Blacc delivers his most optimistic album till date. He manages to make uplifting (but not corny) and happy (but not fake) music and that’s a pretty rare thing these days. The record would’ve benefitted from a couple of heart-breaking soul songs – like Mama Hold My Hand on Good Things – but Blacc’s third album is a showcase of his talent and will make you smile every time you give it a spin.
- Kinda like Usher’s Yeah in 2004. He too put the hit right after the intro. You can’t tell me I’m the only one who listened to Confessions starting with Throwback. Completely irrelevant side note: Confessions came out almost ten fucking years ago. ↩
- You may have heard Ticking Bomb in this Battlefield 4 commercial. ↩