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The Revelations: Timely And Timeless

The Revelations' "Something's Got to Give" captures real-life desperation, for desperate real-life times.
Courtesy of the artist
The Revelations' "Something's Got to Give" captures real-life desperation, for desperate real-life times.

In the bruising "Something's Got to Give," The Revelations' singer, Tre Williams, draws upon the legacy of blue-collar soul while channeling the grit of veteran R&B singers such as Syl Johnson and O.V. Wright. In the process, the band channels the angst of the era in a way that's both timely and timeless.

Against a chugging rhythm and howling electric guitar, Williams laments the struggles of a family man trying desperately to make ends meet — through legal means and otherwise. "How you gonna look him in his eyes / and tell him what he's doing is wrong?" Williams sings. "When he has a wife and four kids waiting where he lives / and not a piece of meal to take 'em at home?"

Stripped of poetic fussiness or glamorization of urban strife, "Something's Got to Give" captures real-life desperation, for desperate real-life times.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Murph
John Murph writes about music and culture and works as a web producer for BETJazz.com. He also contributes regularly to The Washington Post Express, JazzTimes, Down Beat, and JazzWise magazines.