Robert Finley is a Soul Singer. One who seemingly burst onto the music scene overnight with a voice as distinct and memorable as anyone you will ever hear. His music is critically acclaimed and loved my music fans alike. His latest release, Sharecropper’s Son, is a modern, classic soul release that is a snapshot into Robert’s life. It is emotive and depicts of a lifetime of struggle, determination, and faith. With musical stylings from Blues, Gospel, Soul, and R&B Sharecropper’s Son takes you on a musical journey with Finley at the helm.
Robert has overcome many struggles in his life, but those struggles have refined his character and made him into the artist he is today. Most people would shutter under the devastation of divorce, house fires, an automobile accident, and becoming blind from glaucoma, but not Robert. According to Finley, “Losing my sight gave me the perspective to see my true destiny.” It wasn’t until after Robert had to retire from being a carpenter, that he decided to follow his life-long dream of becoming an artist.
Sharecropper’s Son is Finley’s second release for Easy Eye Sound and has Dan Auerbach returning as producer. Auerbach incorporates a stellar lineup of musicians that help tell Finley’s story. Auerbach emphatically states, “Finley is the greatest living soul singer”. These are big words to live up to, but after one listen, you know you are hearing something special, and Auerbach may very well be right.
Sharecropper’s Son launches with the mid-tempo “Souled Out on You” which instantly showcases the mesmerizing falsetto of Finley and quickly transitions into his raspy soulful voice. The song evolves into an era-specific piece in the late ’60s or early ’70s and is a great introduction to the release.
The next track “Make Me Feel Alright” is a foot stopping, hand clapping track, that makes the listener want to sing-a-long. The song showcases some great slide guitar work and makes you feel alright (pun intended). “Country Child” is a song that tells the story of growing up in the country and wanting to escape a hard life of working in cotton fields by moving to the city. Only to find out that city life isn’t what he thought it would be. It has a swampy bayou feel that reminds one of Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The title track “Sharecropper’s Son” is arguably the best song on the album. The song does an amazing job of making you want to dance, which seems like a contradiction to the lyrical content of the song. The song details the hardships of growing up in the deep south and being raised in a sharecropper family. Finley sings “Ain’t no time for education. There’s too much corn in the field. Ain’t no time to go to school ya’ll. We got too much work around here.”
“My Story” is a song of hope and inspiration stating that you are never too old to have dreams or pursue them. Finley has stated “Nobody wanted to hear what I had to say or what I thought about anything. But when I started putting it in songs, people listened.” The release ends with “All My Hope” which has a country gospel feel and is a testament to the Faith that Finley has. It is a song about overcoming the struggles in life and it’s the perfect ending to this story.
Sharecropper’s Son is a fantastic release for listeners who like classic soul, blues or R&B. The release does a masterful job of pulling you in with the music, all while covering heavier topics lyrically. The release gives the listener a sense of Robert’s struggles, while also conveying an uplifting message of hope. The struggles haven’t defined Robert but forged him into the person he is today.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Make Me Feel Alright
– Souled Out on You
– Country Child
– Sharecropper’s Son
The Big Hit
– Sharecropper’s Son