Rolling Stone - p.843 stars out of 5
-- "The highlight: A wonderfully blustery reading of the cocktail jazz standard 'If I Give My Heart To You.'"
Spin - p.943 stars out of 5
-- "'What Made Me Think I Was Right' stands up to his best work, meaning it's remarkably moving."
Down Beat - p.783.5 stars out of 5
-- "Solomon Burke dazzles in the winter of his career....Spare and meticulous playing by organist Rudy Copeland, and dependable rock veterans like Danny Kortchmar, Larry Taylor and Dean Parks underscore the emotional veracity of this singer..."
Dirty Linen - p.57
"The simmering music and the stately delivery in the lyrics make LIKE A FIRE poignant and timely."
Living Blues - p.80
"[I]ts sparse, largely acoustic instrumentation frequently has a pronounced country flavor..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1114 stars out of 5
-- "Burke's expressive singing shows no sign of bending its knee to the passage of time -- he's at full throttle on Ben Harper's 'A Minute To Rest A Second To Pray'..."
Paste (magazine) (p.62) - "LIKE A FIRE coheres because producer/drummer Steve Jordan anchors every cut with a lean, tight trio..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.923 stars out of 5
-- "LIKE A FIRE, Burke's follow up to 2006's country outing NASHVILLE, reveals the baritone still firmly intact."
Personnel: Jesse Harris & the Ferdinandos (acoustic guitar).
Recording information: The Village, Los Angeles, CA (01/03/2008-01/14/2008).
Photographers: Marina Chavez; Shawn Amos.
Arranger: Mark Watters.
Though Solomon Burke was undeniably one of the very finest soul singers of the 1960s, he spent far too many years in the wilderness until 2002's DON'T GIVE UP ON ME started his comeback train rolling. The rest of the decade found him turning out new albums at a steady clip, and 2008's LIKE A FIRE finds a 68-year-old Burke still fully capable of wringing tear-jerking emotion from his voice. While his 2006 album, NASHVILLE, saw him reinterpreting country tunes, LIKE A FIRE is more akin to DON'T GIVE UP ON ME, as Burke tackles new songs written for him by the likes of Eric Clapton, Keb' Mo', and Ben Harper, who also add their considerable instrumental talents to the proceedings. While some of the material is a bit smoother than that of his last few efforts, Burke's indomitable voice is as commanding and powerful as ever, immediately demanding the listener's attention, and rewarding that attention with emotionally complex, nuanced performances on every single track.