Sounding as sweet as ever as he sashays into his 60s, it’s a pity that Al Green’s preserved-in-honey voice hasn’t found better material to get to grips with. The title track and What Do You Want From Me? hint at the Willie Mitchell-produced glories of yore, but largely this is a record of perfunctory and unremarkable coffee table soul.
Such charges are borne out by the presence of saccharine warblers du jour Corinne Bailey Rae (Take Your Time) and John Legend (Stay With Me By The Sea), whose duets, while plainly intended to attract a younger demographic, will do little to impress dyed-in-the-wool fans. Neither track has any real substance; it’s as if they were constructed by committee with no “feel” or passion.
Guitarist Charles “Spanky” Alford provides some subtle licks and the sparse contributions of The Dap-King Horns make pleasing ripples, especially on I’m Wild About You, underscoring Green’s voice with grace. Just try to remember to bring some better songs next time, eh?