St. Paul and the Broken Bones' first full-length, Greetings from St. Paul and the Broken Bones, was filled with the kinds of croons that felt familiar on their first listen, like something you know you must've heard in your grandparents' living room or in mom's old station wagon and just can't put your finger on. Having toured with the Rolling Stones and shared stages with their idols, the sophomore effort would naturally be up against maximum expectations, but lead singer Paul Janeway and the band have met those expectations effortlessly in the new Sea of Noise.
On the 13-song collection, Janeway goes deeper with his lyrics, touching on issues of race and violence and reconciling today's world with his own faith and values. But it's not all heavy, lyrically, and the album, as a whole, is as buoyant and danceable as fans have come to expect from the Southern soul outfit. The second track, "Flow with It (You Got Me Feeling Like)," combines the best of the band's brazen beginnings with a refined producion. This number showcases the subtler soul sounds that characterize Sea of Noise — a scaled-back, nuanced approach that feels like a natural next step from the band's retro debut. From the opening strains to Janeway's last funky high note, the Broken Bones' new tunes prove that this sharp group of noisemakers aren't recreating the past … they're fusing it with the future.
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