Durand Jones & The Inclinations - American Love Call [Magnolia Exclusive Signed]
If Durand Jones & the Indications was the party, their second album and first since signing to Dead Oceans, American Love Call, is the slow dance. Jones and crew trade their infectious bounce for punch-drunk sway, leaning fully into orchestral soul. Gone are Wilson Pickett’s brash horns, replaced instead with the lush strings of, say, Ben E. King, and backing vocals that conjure the dreamy-eyed woe of the Temptations and the Miracles.
American Love Call doesn’t celebrate love so much as interrogate it. Jones bemoans getting the runaround on “Circles.” The song’s baroque strings and gentle flute evoke the 1970s soul family Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, but Aaron Frazer’s lilting drums point to Otis Redding and Carla Thomas’ “Tramp,” adding a little flash. On “Walk Away,” Jones fights against confessing his true feelings, even though he knows his silence will mean losing his potential paramour, an outcome that’s just as distressing. For “Listen to Your Heart,” the struggle morphs into advice: “Your heart’s tryna tell you what you already know,” he sings, his voice softening to a scouring whisper. “Tell him that you love him.” A solitary French horn sounds a fanfare—or a warning. -Pitchfork