CD Review: Solomon Burke – Like A Fire (Shout Factory)

Soul shouter Solomon Burke continues his extraordinary comeback with the fine release Like A Fire. Beginning with the stellar Don’t Give Up On Me back in 2002 or so, Burke has been on a great run, releasing two other fine records after that disc and now this one. Though the hoopla about his resurgence has faded as he releases records on a steady basis now, don’t let the relative silence regarding this record stop you from picking it up.

Burke is once again in fine voice and he has retained his knack of picking great songs to sing. Burke has never been a songwriter of any real note, choosing instead to be an interpreter of others’ work. It’s a lost art, as now if anyone wants to really succeed as an artist, they have to write their own music. In Burke’s time, especially in soul music, you had to work clubs and you had to please crowds. And one of the ways to please the crowd is to sing something they already know, then let something new kind of sneak in there somewhere in between, or dribble off the end somewhere in the set.

Burke is nothing if not a survivor, and he knows all the tricks. And if he can’t write you a winner, he’ll take someone else’s and make it his own. He does that on this disc to great effect, reminding listeners of his ability to mold a song, to reinvent it to suit whatever purpose Burke has in mind. If you like good old rockin’ soul music, Burke is your man and this album will be right up your alley. Premium soul!!

Scott