AL GREEN > Lay It Down

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If you appreciate singing, you’ve got to hear the way Al Green teases the word “hair” on “You’ve Got the Love I Need,” from Lay It Down. He starts off harsh and guttural, then relaxes and sensually massages the rest, holding onto the “r” like he’s cradling it.

Label: BLUE NOTE
[RATING: 4]

If you appreciate singing, you’ve got to hear the way Al Green teases the word “hair” on “You’ve Got the Love I Need,” from Lay It Down. He starts off harsh and guttural, then relaxes and sensually massages the rest, holding onto the “r” like he’s cradling it. That’s just one word-one syllable-yet he treats it like a slowly developing narrative story. Amazing! Lay It Down bathes his organically romantic, 1970s-era soul music in a contemporary setting, co-produced by Green, James Poyser and The Roots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, who also collaborate with him on the blissfully romantic songwriting. Green duets with Anthony Hamilton (the sexy title song and “You’ve Got the Love…),” John Legend (“Stay With Me [By the Sea])” and Corinne Bailey Rae (the fragilely ethereal “Take Your Time).” They all respect more than challenge his approach, which is wise. The man is a classic.


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