Entertainment Weekly - No. 810, p.104
"[A] barn burner....Burke belts it out like he did for Atlantic during his '60s salad days..." - Grade: A-
Uncut - p.1023 stars out of 5
- "At 64, Burke still has the mightiest voice you've heard since Otis died..."
Down Beat - p.664 stars out of 5
- "The preacherly cadence of his phrasing resounds with wisdom and expertise."
Living Blues - p.39
"Burke's jubilant spirit comes across loud and clear."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.963 stars out of 5
- "[Opening with] a rousing soul rocker, it's followed by a funky mid-tempo jaunt..."
Personnel: Solomon Burke (vocals); Reggie Young (guitar); Tommy Sims (electric bass, bass guitar); Ray Parker, Jr. (guitar); Joe Sublett (tenor saxophone); Darrell Leonard (trumpet); Eddie Towns (piano); Rudy Copeland (organ); Jamie Muhoberac (keyboards); James Gadson (drums); Monalisa Young, Portia Griffin, Sweet Pea Atkinson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Clint Bennett.
Audio Remasterer: Stephen Marcussen.
Liner Note Author: Van Morrison.
Recording information: Cello Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: Beth Herzhaft.
Though soul giant Solomon Burke's 2002 album DON'T GIVE UP ON ME was hailed as a comeback, in fact he had never gone away. Occupied by songs from the pens of famed rockers such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Joe Henry, the record alerted the mainstream to Burke's continued magnificence, but it was just a continuation of his long journey.
The next stop on the trip, 2005's MAKE DO WITH WHAT YOU GOT, seems less geared toward crossover appeal. Burke does tackle a couple of tunes from the pop/rock pantheon, including the Band's sorrowful "It Makes No Difference" and Bob Dylan's reflective "What Good Am I?," but these seem even more naturally suited to his style than the songs that were tailor-made for him on his previous outing. His magisterial voice commands the arrangements in the same way a great Shakespearian actor commands a stage with a dramatic soliloquy. The production remains close to Burke's 1960s-soul roots, but adds a gritty edge that bespeaks the filter of a contemporary, rock-informed sensibility. It all adds up to a set of masterful performances from one of the greatest soul singers ever.