Home Read Classic Album Review: Robert Cray | Shoulda Been Home

Classic Album Review: Robert Cray | Shoulda Been Home

The bluesman contines to evolve into a soul man on his umpteenth studio offering.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Singer-guitarist Robert Cray continues his metamorphosis from bluesman to soul man on this smooth-groove set.

Repeating the pattern he established on his 1999 album Take Your Shoes Off, Cray focuses less on 12-bar blues guitar workouts, turning his attention to the sweet sounds of Memphis soul and R&B. The dozen-cut disc mixes it up nicely, switching between smoky and seductive ballads like Baby’s Arms and punchy horn-driven raveups like Love Sickness. Cray doesn’t completely abandon the blues — he covers two Elmore James classics, Cry For Me Baby and The 12 Year Old Boy, and plenty of Shoulda Been Home’s tunes sport the aggressive, impressive and expressive soloing that has become his trademark. It doesn’t break new ground, but album title notwithstanding, Cray sounds right at home.