Album Review — Solomon Burke: Like a Fire

By  Lee Zimmerman

Solomon Burke’s fourth album of this new millennium continues the comeback established with 2002’s aptly titled Don’t Give Up On Me, an album that reclaimed his standing as one of the most stirring singers on the planet.

It’s a sign of reverence that once again, there’s a host of guest stars all too eager to contribute songs and services.

While other artists whose careers have been hibernating often tap big-name cameos to bolster the marquee, Burke’s assist from pedigreed performers like Eric Clapton, producer Steve Jordan, Ben Harper and Jesse Harris never seems necessary. From first note to last, he dominates the proceedings.

Parlaying a man’s sadness about telling his family he’s lost his job to his children’s determination to pull together in “We Don’t Need It,” Burke touts a triumph that’s all too palpable. Likewise, the feeling of gratitude echoed in “Thank You” summons a reverence that springs from the heart. Whether it’s his stirring duet with Harper on the heartbreaking “The Fall” or the closing torch song “If I Give My Heart To You,” Burke etches nothing less than an indelible impression.

Like A Fire burns just as its title implies. Burke’s still on top of his game, and the wisdom of Solomon has never been more apparent.

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