This’ll get nasty. So why not go for the worst part of the review straight away: »Emma Jean« is not an outstanding record. Alright, it might not exactly get nasty but it’s hard enough to admit that the new album by Lee Fields and the Expressions isn’t that convincing. Maybe there have just been too many records lately that smelled of the dead soul-sound from the seventies, having come back to life. Maybe there are enough solid tracks on this record but not enough surprises. Maybe it’s because the album lacks the energy that we normally find on Fields’ records. A track like »Paralyzed«, for example, reaches its best moments through the brass-section, an organ and an overall ruckus, but then again it’s short of feeling, short of soul, and we’re quickly being led over to the next lines with sparse bass lines. »In The Woods« works a little better, a little more gripping. You hear sweat dripping from each tone, passion in every note. »Still Gets Me Down« also wakes the beaten dog inside you, while the winds pull you deeper into the pain. And still, Lee Fields doesn’t quite manage to withdraw from the genre’s moldings. At places where everything used to burn, you’ll now just find a few glowing pieces between the ashes. But then again – that’s where the Phoenix will arise from.