Charles Bradley, ‘Changes’

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Aidin Vaziri | Charles Bradley, who used to make a living as a James Brown impersonator called Black Velvet, lived a hard-knock life until 2011, when he was pulled into the limelight by the hip Brooklyn label Daptone. “Changes” is his third full-length album for the imprint and possibly his best, easing off the reverent retro-soul formula of its predecessors and pushing the 67-year-old sensation into his own. Bradley lives up to his nickname, the Screaming Eagle of Soul, as he grunts and groans his way through the title track, a cover of a Black Sabbath tune, and the opening “Good to Be Back Home,” which details his shifting fortunes. There’s some filler, sure, but things take off with the frenetic “Ain’t It a Sin,” an R&B workout that will serve as a showstopper on his upcoming tour. Bradley performs at the Fillmore on May 17.

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