Personnel: Eric Holden (guitar, baritone guitar, synthesizer, glockenspiel, percussion); Dillon O'Brian (guitar, piano, organ); Lyle Workman (guitar); Steve Elson (saxophone); Roger Manning (keyboards, synthesizer); Pete Thomas (drums, percussion); Jaime Harris, Akina Adderley, Noëlle Hampton, Jazz Mills, BettySoo (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Dave Way.
Photographer: Eryn Brooke.
Beneath the twang and jangle, there's always been a strong pop undercurrent to Charlie Faye's music, so it's not entirely surprising that she decided to go full girl group for her 2016 album, Charlie Faye & the Fayettes. Supported by Akina Adderley and BettySoo, Faye expertly re-creates the swaying sweet nothings of the pre-Beatles '60s, but she's no literal-minded revivalist. She ropes in the Southern funk of Stax on "Eastside" (a sound she also mines in a lighter fashion on "Sweet Little Messages"), digs into a slow churchy groove on "One More Chance," and dresses "See You Again" with guitars that ring so bright and clear that they can't help but recall power pop. Such slight flair speaks volumes to the level of smart popcraft displayed throughout Charlie Faye & the Fayettes: it first impresses with its savvy, swinging retro vibes, but it resonates thanks to those strong, enduring songs. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine