CANDI STATON’s been a southern soul siren, a disco queen, a gospel maven, and an electro-funk goddess during a long and storied career that spans six decades and has garnered her a multitude of hit records (including the immortal ‘Young Hearts Run Free’) and four Grammy nominations. Though she’s 78 now, the Alabama-born chanteuse is still in good voice and understandably, perhaps, feels no need to retire or rest on her laurels.
Significantly, ‘Unstoppable’ – scheduled for release on August 24th – is the thirtieth album of Staton’s career and its uncompromising title encapsulates the singer’s voracious appetite for life as well as her passion for performing and making new music. The 10-song set reunites her with producer and Lambchop member, Mark Nevers, who helmed her comeback secular albums, 2006’s ‘His Hands’ and 2009’s ‘Who’s Hurting Now.’
Unlike those two acclaimed albums, which largely focused on downtempo material and highlighted Staton’s ability to inhabit pain-racked, blues-infused ballads, ‘Unstoppable’ has more of a glowing, feel-good vibe and features six songs written by the singer. There are plenty of brassy funk grooves and an almost omnipresent dance floor pulse drives an album brimming with positivity. But there’s also a deep vein of protest running through the album’s themes, exemplified by a great cover of punk poet Patti Smith’s ‘People Have The Power’ – reconfigured as a dance anthem – and the rousing message song, ‘Stand Up,’ which includes the great line, “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.”
There’s also room for some great ballads – the pick of them being the delicate ‘Revolution For Change,’ which despite its dreamy, laidback groove, is a passionate plea for change.
‘Unstoppable’ is available via Beracah/Thirty Tigers on August 24th 2018