Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: Game Gets Old
Mini-movie from Dap clan isn’t in the ballpark of Kanye West’s “Runaway” design, but it’s just as effective, if not better
The dapper Dap crew unveils a smart video trilogy encompassing three of Sharon Jones’s new songs from her album I’ve Learned the Hard Way. With Philip Di Fiore in the director’s chair, this short film focuses on the retro blaxploitation genre but with the Daptone stamp of approval. The songs are modestly pieced together with a script placing Jones in a sticky relationship tug-of-war; eventually revealing the cheating ways of her man. She sings to herself in a dark apartment room while awaiting a return call from her lover on “When You Call.” She’s had enough, which leads her to Lee, the old-school bouncer guarding the front doors of Pinky’s Lounge. The spunky confrontation with Lee places Jones in her first acting role and it’s one worth praising. Her paranoiac suspicions lead her through performances of “I’ve Learned the Hard Way” and the Stax-coated closer “Game Gets Old.” How the video matches against the antique soul is perfect in so many ways for Jones and her N.Y. band. With all the buzz escalating over nostalgia styles in the pop market, Sharon Jones finds a clever way of making something so old feel so new – like a spiffy replica of Isaac Hayes’ gold-trimmed Cadillac Eldorado pimpmobile.
J MATTHEW COBB