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Joe Cocker Shifts Gears

If the title song to Joe Cocker's forthcoming album (Jan. 24) is any indication, fans with little use for the somewhat insipid pop material Cocker put out during the more recent phase of his career might become fans again. Hard Knocks finds Cocker reverting to the more muscular sound that made his early career albums keepers.  He snarls and wails, backed by a rock solid, R&B infused band that is up to the task.  Whether he will ever release anything as riveting as his first few albums seems unlikely, but at least this new one sounds as though it just might be worth inviting to the party.
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