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Brother's Keeper

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 7, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Brother's Keeper by The Neville Brothers

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002GJ5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,725 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tyler Smith on April 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As the title suggests, "Brother's Keeper" mixes social awareness and messages of hope and tolerance with the Neville Brothers' usual eclectic collection of grooves. It's music that you can dance and sing to, but it also makes you aware that there's a world out there that isn't always pretty. And it urges the listener to get involved in that world.
The best example of socially aware funk is "Brother Jake," which laments the death of a character claimed by the streets. It rocks powerfully, with a gospel tinge, but there's nothing mindless about it. It's a strong portrait of a tough world that takes lives.
"Sons and Daughters" tiptoes toward rap. Charles Neville's powerful oration warns us not to forsake the young people, our lifeblood, whom he says are "being led to the slaughter." It's an indictment of indifference to the rifts in society that could one day blow it apart. At the end it strays from the spoken word, mixing in a spare, powerful guitar and Charles' voice rising toward song with the words, "You can't stop/running water/You can't hide/the fire that burns inside..."
There's also balladry that gives Aaron Neville a chance to display his unique sense of soul and his wonderful falsetto, in "Fearless." "Jah" delivers a reggae feel, and the title cut blends another testimony by Charles with the biblical admonition to "be my brother's keeper, though he be strong or weaker. I got to lend a helping hand."
For straight-ahead gospel, there's "Steer Me Right," which shows off the band's on-the-money harmonies and straight-from-the-gut emotion.
Listening to a Neville Brothers release is like dropping by on a warm Friday evening to hang out with a great group of friends who are never boring and who have a million ways to deliver a point. This is a neglected release, but it shouldn't be. Pick it up and enjoy a few grooves packed with a message.
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Format: Audio CD
I first became aware of The Neville Brothers back in 1976. They provided backup for the Wild Tchoupitoulas, a traditional New Orleans Indian group. After discovering their unique vocal harmonies and intricate Afro/Latin/Cajun rhythms I became hooked. Then in 1989 they teamed up with Canadian producer Daniel Lanois on the phenomenally successful "Yellow Moon". That album earned The Nevilles and Lanois their first Grammy. "Brother's Keeper" followed in the footsetps of "Yellow Moon" but somehow didn't get swept up with the momentum and failed to gain traction with critics and fans alike. Dispite poor record sales and marginal reviews "Brothers Keeper" is, in my opinion a more cohesive and satisfing work. Unlike the dreamy "soundscapes" created by Lanois, there's a more traditional "Crescent City" flavor to it. "Brother's Keeper" could easily be mistaken for a much earlier work. If you listen to seminal recordings by the great Professor Longhair, Fats Domino or even Dr John you'll know what I mean.

Like a truly tasty gumbo, there's a whole lot of blending of hot and savory spices that go into this fine dish. Proof enough can be heard in the rock steady groove of "Brother Jake", "Steer Me Right" or the reggae classic "Jah Love". There's also the sweet gospel soul of "Witness" and "My Brother's Keeper". And to be sure they manage to cover all the bases, the brothers positively tare up the old rock-a-billy classic, "Mystery Train". There's enough passion and soul on this track to drive back Katrina and send her into the Gulf of Mexico. Finally to demonstrate their unparalled varsatility, listen to Brother Aaron deliver the most heartfelt, moving version of Leonard Cohen's beautiful composition "Bird On a Wire"....What depth! What feeling! Wow!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's the Saturday of the week of Hurricane Katrina. I was listening to the community radio station in Boulder/Denver last night, KGNU.org. And I heard the most stunning song, that I came to learn was "Sons and Daughters" from "Brother's Keeper."

I came to this site, and appreciated what the reviewer Tyler from Denver said about the song, how it's an "indictment of indifference to the rifts in society that could one day blow it apart."

It appears that day has arrived.

Thankfully we have artists like the Neville Brothers to help us through.

I'm looking forward to hearing this entire CD.
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Format: Audio CD
I test music purchases in a simple way. You hear 1 good song, think about buying, but too many things just have 1 good cut. 2 good songs, OK, maybe a good bet, worth a shot. 3 good songs, drop down your hard earned money. Any more than that, you better not wait it might go out of print. With Brother Blood, Sons & Daughters My Brothers Keeper, and the absolutely great Fearless, this is a must buy.
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Format: Audio CD
In terms of music that came out following the 1980's,this is quite different from what I could possibly have imagined. Known about this for a long time. Picked it up same day,same format and same price as I did the Neville's Fiyo on the Bayou. Decided as I often do to listen to the two together. I expected both albums to be excellent and interesting. And that they both are. But there's something on this particular album that is somewhat hard to put into words. It's a sort of flavor you get from that type of 1970's funk that stretched conceptually out beyond merely the latest dance or whatever. In terms of cultural,moral and spiritual understanding this album makes no apologies in showcasing the Neville's outlook on all of that both lyrically and musically all at once. It's nothing like their late 70's,early 80's sound at all. They evolved into something quite different.

Matter of fact,a good deal of these songs have a strong blues/country-soul vibe to them from "Steer Me Right",the Linda Ronstadt duet of "Fearless","Fallin' Rain" and "Witness" actually have more a potent combination that is closer to a country/soul/blues fusion somewhere around the middle since there's a lot of gospel overtones in their too. "Brother Jake" isn't exactly a heartwarming tale but at the same time it's one of my favorites here and showcases them modernizing their funk again. Only it's very much late 80's sounding. "River Of Life" and "Mystery Train" are very funk oriented but delve into the blues end of it a bit further,again telling some captivating stories that I won't spoil for anyone here.
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