10 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Garage-soul wunderkind Benjamin Booker followed his 2014 breakthrough by decamping to Mexico, only to be drawn home by news of police shootings and Black Lives Matter protests. The result is Witness, an album torn between personal reflection and political responsibility, bluesy paranoia (“The Slow Drag Under”) and gospel catharsis (the Mavis Staples-featuring “Witness”). “I just want to believe in something,” Booker sings on “Believe,” his voice hoarse against a string section reminiscent of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” “I don’t care if it’s right or wrong.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Garage-soul wunderkind Benjamin Booker followed his 2014 breakthrough by decamping to Mexico, only to be drawn home by news of police shootings and Black Lives Matter protests. The result is Witness, an album torn between personal reflection and political responsibility, bluesy paranoia (“The Slow Drag Under”) and gospel catharsis (the Mavis Staples-featuring “Witness”). “I just want to believe in something,” Booker sings on “Believe,” his voice hoarse against a string section reminiscent of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” “I don’t care if it’s right or wrong.”

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