Solomon Burke, ‘Like a Fire’ (Shout! Factory)
If Burke’s voice now lacks the stirring richness of his early-’60s R&B hits like “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and “Cry to Me,” his dramatic skills haven’t faded a bit. Shifting gears from 2006’s countrified Nashville, he turns to laid-back pop and gospel-flavored tunes about hard times and spiritual crisis, written by fans such as Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, and Jesse Harris. Like many great singers, King Solomon sometimes has to elevate lesser material. Still, “What Made Me Think I Was Right” stands up to his best work, meaning it’s remarkably moving.