Eli ''Paperboy'' Reed | Come and Get It!

Capitol Records (2010)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 10, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Local boy Eli "Paperboy" Reed isn't so local anymore. Now based in Brooklyn instead of Brookline, Reed has been touring Europe for several months, satisfying that continent's thirst for authentic American soul and R&B. And when it comes to lyrical soul vérité and scorching vocal performances that conjure greats from Sam Cooke ("Tell Me") to Sam & Dave ("Name Calling"), the "Paperboy" delivers the goods. Impeccably produced at Somerville's Q Division Studios, Come and Get It! is Reed's major-label debut, and it should be interesting to see what happens as Capitol tries to market him to Duffy and Raphael Saadiq fans.

The lead-off "Young Girl" — a tribute to the man for whom it was a 1967 hit, the late Boston soul singer Frank Lynch, and the only track out of 12 here not written by Reed — skips along like a rare Archie Drell cut. "You Can Run On" aims straight for a Soul Stirrers–style hootenanny. In fact, what separates Reed from his would-be contemporaries is just how much Come and Get It! is not a pop-crossover record — a point that is the album's strength, as well as its potential weakness.

In all of Reed's judicious genre cherry picking and fixation with period details, you have to wonder why soul and R&B crate diggers would stop sifting through the thousands of incredible progenitors of the original sounds to listen to an imitator. The pressure to be new and original is certainly there, but anyone paying attention knows that, from the chitlin circuit to beach music, real soul and R&B never went away. Consider this a reintroduction.

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