Exclaim!'s Best of 2014: Top 10 Soul & R&B Albums



5. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Give the People What They Want
(Daptone Records)

If you're tempted to overlook Ms. Jones' fifth platter as one of the year's best because a) it dropped when 2014 was just two weeks old or b) you're starting to take her band's dependable brand of funk for granted, don't. The People is not only a worthy addition to the near-bulletproof Dap-Kings throwback catalogue, but it gains momentum and texture upon repeat listens — easy to do with a 33-minute LP.

The faux shield of pride on "You'll Be Lonely," the myth-busting "People Don't Get What They Deserve" and the stomping intro "Retreat!" all bring new flavours. That Jones toured these songs with her usual fervour in the wake of chemo treatments only makes them more special. (Luke Fox)