Al Green - Lay It Down

Going through the (e)motions

Lay It Down

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?

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Blue Note | 5099921260025

Reviewed by Terry Staunton
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