My True Story, by Aaron Neville

Now in his seventies, Aaron Neville can still locate the incredibly sweet spot between full voice and falsetto. The R&B legend’s singing remains mellow but quietly forceful—as if he could let loose at any moment but chooses not to. He just sounds great.

My True Story is a collection of doo-wop covers, taking Neville back to one of several musical strains that formed him. Doo-wop was formative for lots of musicians, black and white alike. Enter Keith Richards, the British rock star who, decades ago, loudly embraced rock ’n’ roll’s African-American backstory while Stateside rockers were mostly erasing it. Richards is the coproducer (with Don Was) and guitarist-bandleader here, and he approaches the material like a reverent fan. The crack band is similarly conservative, and why not? The songs are classic, the singer peerless. No new ground needed here.

Steve Thorngate

The Century managing editor is also a church musician and songwriter.

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