Best Real R&B

City Paper

Echoing the style and looks of your influences ain’t all that hard and sounding like them is actually pretty easy too, but what makes soul sensation Brooks Long so special is the way he seems to have fully internalized the musical moves of Stax, Motown, soft-focus soul, and gritty grimy funk. These are less loving homages to the past than they are smart sexy continuations of the style. Take ‘Baby Gon’ Be Funky,’ an inclusive, power-of-music origin myth, with a confident delivery and a smart self-awareness that frames Long as a prognosticator of funk: “Don’t you tell your momma, she never would understand,” Long howls, “But I burned you two or three Funkadelic CDs, they gonna turn you to a funky man.”

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