This Week's R E V I E W ...

Joe Cocker
Hymn For My Soul

© Concord

July 5 - 11, 2020

Year of Release: 2007
Rating:
  • You Haven't Done Nothin'
  • One Word (Peace)
  • Love Is For Me
  • Don't Give Up On Me
  • Long As I Can See The Light
  • Beware Of Darkness
  • Just Pass It On
  • River's Invitation
  • Ring Them Bells
  • Hymn 4 My Soul
  • Come Together

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    Joe Cocker returns this week, with one of his later albums. Released in 2007, Hymn For My Soul -- you would think with it's title would be a gospel album. Yet alone, he could basically sing any musical style that would fit. And quite frankly, some of these songs could even pass as gospel-inspired tunes; just the sound, and of course, Cocker's ummistakable voice.

    There are cover tunes on this album, the first is the album's opener, "You Haven't Done Nothin'" a song that Stevie Wonder originally took to #1. Cocker adds his own voice-grit to his version. And covering a Stevie Wonder tune is quite a challenge; Cocker does it well. The next two songs easily fits the album's title, as they are soulful and gospel'ish in sound: "One Word (Peace)" and "Love Is For Me." The soulfulness is there, in both sound and his voice.

    Then it just gets better -- "Don't Give Up On Me" is an excellent soulful ballad. And John Fogerty's "Long As I Can See The Light" is as inspirational in sound that Cocker makes it for his own. Another cover is the next track, George Harrison's "Beware Of Darkness." It is just as good as the original, which was on Harrison's All Things Must Pass solo album.

    "Just Pass It On" is a track that is good, however, there are other tunes that fair better than this one. "River's Invitation" gets a groove going. And another inspirational tune follows, written by Bob Dylan -- "Ring Them Bells." The title track, (spelled as "Hymn 4 My Soul" has a jazz and blues feel. The last tune is a bonus track, a cover of the Beatles' "Come Together" -- And his own version fits well.

    It's hard to believe that Joe Cocker is no longer with us. He passed away in 2014, at the age of 70. Even until his final years, he had always recorded great albums. His voice was distinguished, unique. He could record anything he put his heart to. Hymn For My Soul is another album worth listening to. His soulfulness has always been there, and there is plenty of soul, grit and great music on this album. Joe Cocker's music will always be unique. And his uniqueness is what made him great. Even in the beginning, his stage presence was also unique to watch. He had it all -- the stage presence, the music, and the voice. There is no mistake when you hear his voice, it was meant to be. Thank you Joe, your music will be treasured for many many years to come.





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