• Record Label: Daptone
  • Release Date: Nov 9, 2018
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. Entertainment Weekly
    Nov 5, 2018
    91
    Black Velvet reminds us how much we gained from the music of Charles Bradley, as well as what we've lost in his absence. [9 Nov 2018, p.54]
  2. 90
    The result is naturally a bit of a mish-mash, but all of the material is terrific and the sequencing makes this seem like a finished product.
  3. Nov 14, 2018
    85
    It's a groove from beginning to end, and much like Bradley's musical career, Black Velvet doesn't fail to appeal to listeners both young and old. His talent and spirit will be sorely missed.
  4. Nov 12, 2018
    80
    No posthumous album can be heard without a sense of loss and absence. No matter how much you enjoy these tracks, you must also acknowledge as you listen that the world will go on without this singular talent.
  5. Nov 12, 2018
    80
    It showcases Bradley’s strongest talents, and is just as good as any of the records he released when he was alive.
  6. Nov 8, 2018
    80
    The fourth and last is less than 40 minutes long yet stands tall as a significant addition to his oeuvre.
  7. Nov 7, 2018
    80
    [Posthumous albums] run the risk of being hobbled packs of demos and half-finished ideas. But with the right guidance, they can also be effective final chapters of a career. This 10-track collection of rarities, arranged by Bradley’s friends at soul-revivalist labels Dunham/Daptone Records, proves to be the latter, with the love and passion Bradley exuded in life fully preserved and present.
  8. Nov 7, 2018
    80
    Tracks like the funky "Can't Fight the Feeling," "Love Jones" and "I Feel a Change" aren't '60s soul throwbacks so much as they are genuine articles, with the now-trademark Daptone sound feeling fresh and vintage at once.
  9. Q Magazine
    Nov 5, 2018
    80
    Although comprised of offcuts, it amounts to a great fourth and final record. [Dec 2018, p.104]
  10. Uncut
    Nov 5, 2018
    80
    The most heart-wrenching selection are a ravaged take on Nirvana's "Stay Away" in which Bradley intuitively taps into Kurt Cobain's roiling anguish, a tonsil-shredding full-band rendition of "Victim Of Love" and the instrumental "Black Velvet," which Brenneck had earmarked for a Bradley vocal he was too weak to sing. [Dec 2018, p.23]
  11. Nov 9, 2018
    75
    Even as Black Velvet occasionally fails to gel as a cohesive album--it is, after all, essentially a B-sides collection--it succeeds as a tribute to an authentic talent.
  12. Nov 14, 2018
    70
    Even if it frontloads the strongest and newest material, Black Velvet provides a largely engaging second side. The one exception being his cover of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” originally released as a single in 2011, which feels somehow more gimmicky than the (solid, even if it highlights how cloying Cobain’s lyrics could be) Nirvana cover preceding it.
  13. Nov 14, 2018
    70
    Black Velvet is a collection of odds and ends and not a proper album, and sometimes it sounds that way as it moves from track to track. But it is full of the heart, soul, and spirit that Charles Bradley summoned every time he stood before a microphone, and this is a moving reminder of how much he gave us, and how much we have lost.
  14. Mojo
    Nov 5, 2018
    60
    It's no surprise that there isn't the immediate drive of 2011 Daptone debut No Time For Dreaming, it the energy and cohesion of follow-ups Victim Of Love (2013) and Changes (2016). But Black Velvet's appeal grows. [Dec 2018. p.85]

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