While José James’ most recent single “I Need You Love” showed the singer hinting at fresh sounds to come on his forthcoming LP No Beginning No End 2, the second track released from the project shows his deep respect for his musical roots. “Turn Me Up” is a vibrant track that is equally at home today as it would be in the early days of soul music.
James’ band for the new album features a roster of heavy hitting instrumentalists like Jamire Williams on drums, Ben Williams on bass, and Kris Bowers on keys. The new single is a showcase of their masterful musicianship and execution of subtle arranging. At the forefront, though, are James’ timeless, seductive vocals that are enhanced by added flourishes from Aloe Blacc. With deft soul, they deliver a playfully empowering message that is emphasized with the line, “I’m feelin’ good baby / and I’m feelin’ free / and yes, I’m young, gifted, and black so just let me be,” which slyly references the Nina Simone song. “Turn Me Up” shows James’ stylistic versatility with consistently exception quality, offering another enticing preview of the upcoming album.