While watching James Brown in the early 1960s, Charles Bradley realized he longed to be heard as a musician. More than half a century later, his passion for music is finally satisfied on No Time For Dreaming, which functions as part autobiography and part personal salvation from the challenges of life without reward. The album moves seamlessly through notes of funk, reggae, R&B, and jazz, with understated instrumentals that sound distinctly inspired by the ’60s. And while the accompaniment behind Bradley seems a bit outdated, the brassiness of his pleading, throaty voice sounds so modern and well-lived that the music rests at a relaxing balance. The sincerity of Bradley’s voice coaxes straightforward lyrics into inspiring choruses on “Why Is It So Hard” and “Heartaches and Pain,” two songs that encourage optimism instead of concession in painful times. After 62 years, it seems this voice is finally going to be heard. Charles Bradley plays SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Friday, August 26. Visit clubmercy.com for info.
No Time For Dreaming