Anderson East: Encore
Like his previous album Delilah, on Encore, Anderson East ploughs the soulful roots of vintage R&B, taking up the banner that Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett and Al Green once held high. It also finds him reunited with Nashville tastemaker Dave Cobb, the man behind the boards for Delilah and countless other recent classics. East deserves credit for mining choice material; in addition to the searing “King for a Day” (written with Chris and Morgane Stapleton) and a scorching “All on My Mind” (co-penned by Ed Sheeran), he also revisits seminal songs by Willie Nelson and Ted Hawkins. East’s sandpapery vocals soar with arched emotion on “This Too Shall Last,” exude ache and longing on “Cabinet Door” and “House Is a Building” and boast sass and strut on “Sorry You’re Sick.” Likewise, the driving, defiant “Girlfriend” has all the makings of a contemporary classic. And when he wails away on broken ballads “If You Keep Leaving Me” and “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces,” there’s little doubt that, somewhere, the Big O himself, Otis Redding, is offering his hearty nod of approval.