You Like Your Music Angsty and Exuberant? Listen to These Dudes.

Nathaniel Rateliff and Barrence Whitfield have got great new albums.

Album Reviews

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Tearing at the Seams
Stax

Barrence Whitfield and the Savages
Soul Flowers of Titan
Bloodshot

Robust rock and soul singers are often referred to as “shouters,” a term that doesn’t do justice to the personality and skill some artists bring to their craft. Exhibit A: Tearing at the Seams, the glorious second studio album from Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. The brawny beats, sultry horns, and funky organ might spark fond memories of the ‘60s glory days of Stax and other classic R&B labels, but there’s nothing retro or reverent about Rateliff’s electrifying performance. Mixing equal quantities of grit and tenderness, he specializes in heart-on-sleeve songs about vulnerability and longing, including “Say It Louder” and “You Worry Me,” sure to resonate with anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with romantic angst. Rateliff can also get rowdy—the stomping “Intro” recalls early Bob Seger at his most exuberant—so he might want to tackle a full set of party songs for a change of pace someday.

Barrence Whitfield, who’s been doing his thing since the 1980s, comes off as a dangerous maniac by comparison. On the exciting Soul Flowers of Titan, the raucous frontman and his aptly named Savages suggest a traditional soul band drunk on punk-rock aggression. For all the raw fury of tracks like “Let’s Go to Mars” and “Slowly Losing My Mind,” though, Whitfield is far more than an old-school shouter. Like the great David Johansen, he tempers his attack with bracing measures of humor and finesse. To relieve stress instantly, go here.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.