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Eli 'Paperboy' Reed & the True Loves

Roll With You

(Q Division; US: 29 Apr 2008; UK: Available as import)

Boston hasn’t been able to boast of a performer like Eli “Paperboy” Reed in a long time—perhaps ever, seeing as its scene is rooted more in classic rock than vintage soul. Reed’s stormy delivery of knife-thrust R&B music means to assert the 20-something Brookline native as the real deal, and with that voice and scraggly yet confident band, it’s hard to deny him his props. Reed goes for the jugular on his latest full-length, which, with love from the likes of Mojo magazine and Nick Lowe, promises to be his big break-out. It’s the first recording that attempts to match Reed’s ‘60s R&B style with equally classicist production techniques—and often, on songs like the shuffling rave-up “Take My Love With You” and the slow burning Otis Redding pastiche “(Am I Just) Fooling Myself”, it succeeds with sweaty, authentic results. Reed summons the sympathy of Solomon Burke on “Am I Wasting My Time” and lets loose a nasty guitar solo in “Stake Your Claim”, moments of ass-shaking groove that forgive some of the album’s more redundant offerings. With Roll With You, Reed & the True Loves have our attention, and now all that’s left to do is hold it.

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Zeth Lundy has been writing for PopMatters since 2004. He is the author of Songs in the Key of Life (Continuum, 2007), and has contributed to the Boston Phoenix, Metro Boston, and The Oxford American. He lives in Boston.


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Eli 'Paperboy' Reed & the True Loves - Am I Wasting My Time
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