The Soul Truth
On her fourth album, the late Johnny Copeland’s girl stirs up a soul stew with horns, funk and, most importantly, guitarist-producer Steve Cropper. The old Blues Brother and MG harnesses Copeland’s raw Texas fury into a Memphis groove. Occasionally she slips away. A few moments are more Ethel Merman than Etta James, when Copeland confuses drama with pain. Overall, though, it’s the most riveting batch of new soul this side of Joss Stone, and twice as nasty. “Uptown Line” could be an anthem for big women finding their beauty and independence in one motion. A duet with Dobie Gray, “Used,” is a poignant pairing of phenom and veteran. On The Soul Truth, a lioness is schooled in subtlety, and eats it alive only a few times.