Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
Buy On
  1. 91
    With their latest album SJDK give the people what they want, even if they didn’t know how much they wanted it.
  2. Jan 21, 2014
    It’s Jones’ powerful, perfectly vibrato-laden voice that creates just the right of emotion for every break-up, hook-up, fed up and uplifting track on the barely 30-minute record.
  3. 85
    The best album of their career thus far.
  4. Jan 14, 2014
    Give The People What They Want certainly lives up to its name, but it’s no rehash of the past--or a collection that panders.
  5. Feb 14, 2014
    The now-well-established ensemble pulls off a notable twofer with Give the People What They Want. It’s made a full-length album that hangs together as a distinct whole, and it’s also written a collection of unique songs that stands tall as an example of what still makes the genre vital.
  6. Mojo
    Jan 23, 2014
    This pan-generational Jones/Dap-Kings team have been injecting new vitality into a classic form since 2002, and the people will certainly want their strong new soul album. [Feb 2014, p.90]
  7. Jan 21, 2014
    It’s a triumphant comeback.
  8. Jan 21, 2014
    Feeling as genuine, exiting, and downright fun as their very best work, it does just as the title suggests--with the band back on blistering form and Jones solidifying her place in the pantheon of soul legends.
  9. Jan 16, 2014
    The Dap-Kings prove once again to be an almost mind-bogglingly crisp backing band, with tickingly taught percussion, sticky bass lines and sweat-inducing brass. But it’s Jones, of course, who holds together every song with her now-classic vox.
  10. Jan 14, 2014
    Jones and company sound at the top of their game.
  11. Jan 14, 2014
    If you are seeking something original then this is not it; if you are a fan of good music and your ears need their medicine, this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
  12. Jan 14, 2014
    There’s nary a moment missed by the band to demonstrate that Sharon Jones is one of the greatest female vocalist currently operating.
  13. Jan 13, 2014
    These ten songs sound almost designed to be played on repeat, and keep with the always colorful and ecstatically fun sound audiences have come to expect from one of the best acts going in retrofitted classic soul.
  14. Jan 13, 2014
    Although it perhaps lacks the wasted acrobatics and distracting volume that populates today’s popscape, Give The People What They Want nevertheless reminds us that it’s both range and heart that helps compelling soul music survive both a century of cynics and existential close calls.
  15. Jan 13, 2014
    Give The People What They Want is an especially bright new feather in the cap. It’s towering, tempestuous, addictive, and available in a beautiful shade of marbled blue. Maybe we don’t deserve it, but it’s here to own us just the same.
  16. 80
    [Jones'] natural ebullience still drives the splendid Give the People What They Want, a hook-laden affair keeping up the high standard set by I Learned the Hard Way and 2011’s punchy Soul Time!, as good an R&B album as any in recent years.
  17. Jan 10, 2014
    A great album full of songs both uplifting and danceable, emotional and cerebral.
  18. Jan 9, 2014
    No matter how contrived the sound, however, there's no writing this troupe off as lazy pastiche.... Give the People What They Want breathes passionate new life into the past.
  19. Uncut
    Jan 8, 2014
    It the bits between the notes that rescue this from the status of pointless fidelity and make it so compelling. [Sep 2013, p.90]
  20. Q Magazine
    Jan 8, 2014
    Their fifth album together since 2002 maintains an astonishing standard comparable even to that of original legends like Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. [Jan 2014, p.122]
  21. 80
    The 50-something from Brooklyn is her own diva and sounds at once wounded, defiant and exuberant. Producer-bassist Bosco Mann runs a tight band with its own tricks and which purrs along so joyously the influences fade to leave a core of unadulterated soul.
  22. Jan 15, 2014
    Give the People What They Want is a pretty short 10 songs, though its breezy half-hour leaves plenty that sticks and plenty more worth revisiting when it doesn't.
  23. Entertainment Weekly
    Jan 17, 2014
    Their sixth disc nails the familiar pleasure centers, but truly excites only when the singer casts manners aside. [24 Jan 2014, p.67]
  24. Jan 14, 2014
    A dozen years in, her brass-powered group is both extending and preserving tradition; it remains a national treasure and an instant soul party.
  25. Jan 14, 2014
    Despite the Dap Kings versatility--they were more hushed and drowsier backing Charles Bradley on last year's Victim of Love--and Jones' indefatigability, there aren't many new ideas here. That's not the point, though. The point is that music from another time can still thrill us in this one because of its practically tyrannical insistence on bliss.
  26. 70
    Whereas I Learned the Hard Way suffered from a lack of variation in songwriting, Give the People What They Want transverses the dictionary of soul and pulls out a few different entries, making it a much more engaging record.
  27. 70
    Rarely has reliability been this funky.
  28. Jan 10, 2014
    Give the People What They Want is a collection of songs that not only sees the Dap-Kings reveling in a variety of musical tones, from confident, strutting anthems of independence to slow-burning, intimate ballads, but also displays Jones at her most vocally ferocious, lending a self-assured voice to the down and out.
  29. Jan 8, 2014
    Although Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings are brilliant Motown/Stax revivalists, their stalwart '60s soul/funk, at times, hits the inevitable yawn note.
  30. Never a subtle singer, Jones attacks her soul anthems like a blunt force instrument. That’s fine, since nuance isn’t called for here. Force is, and Jones has enough of it to thrill. That still isn’t enough to drag the Dap-Kings out of the shadows of their idols.
  31. Jan 13, 2014
    As much as Give the People What They Want is a quasi-holding pattern and is middling in its success, hope that she can get back to doing what she does best, which just so happens to be the title of this very album.
  32. Jan 9, 2014
    The album is missing an emotional, drawn-out, heartbreaking ballad, but inspirational anthems like Retreat! find her sassing as loud and proud as ever.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Jan 20, 2014
    Their formula is a decade old but their soul is still all there. Actually, with this record they seem to have gone a little forward in theirTheir formula is a decade old but their soul is still all there. Actually, with this record they seem to have gone a little forward in their 1965-1970 time bubble. Its great feat is sounding so impressively sixties; but there are truly beautiful songs on this new record, one for all "Making Up and Breaking Up". Full Review »