Music » Critics' Picks

Eli "Paperboy" Reed

8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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In the preppy-chic soul revival sweepstakes, Eli "Paperboy" Reed outpaces the likes of better-known band leaders such as Mayer Hawthorne, in part because he's simply a greater singer, in part because he still has a lot to prove. Though he signed to Capitol Records for last year's Come and Get It — a glottis-grinding, Stax-soul salvo that overcomes its glossy and white-hot mastering with songs of crazed and cool romance — the 27-year-old singer still sounds hungry, desperately starving even, for a shot at the Daptone-dominated throne. His original material is mature, sometimes masterful, as on "You Can Run On," which puts a down payment on his gospel-blues debt. When he gets in touch with his inner Wilson Pickett and Bobby Bland, howling with the horns and crooning with the choir, he sounds unstoppable.

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