Monday, January 24, 2011

Reverend Green Lays It Down (2008)

Al Green's big comeback, impeccably produced by Questlove in 2008, Lay It Down, hasn't spun into my rotation since I first got into the Reverend in high school. Grandpa Green never shows his age here, and his voice sounds barely weakened from the 40 years since his legendary four 70s classics. Questlove love brings in big names from the modern soul movement like Anthony Hamilton and John Legend, but no one shines more than the Reverend himself.

Top tracks include the title track, "Lay It Down", which opens the album with some deep grooves, "Just For Me", and "What More Do You Want From Me". The only criticism I have about the album is that the lyrics are often ambiguous and dull. It's typical Green fashion to write sexy romance tunes, but he at least used to write more specific metaphors and address his subject material more clearly. Beautiful choruses always divide up each track, however, and at the end of the day it's not the lyrics that I'm focused on when it comes to Al Green. It's a real blessing to have this man around churning out great music. He's a living legend and he puts to shame any overproduced R&B garbage I've heard on popular radio in the last decade. Props Grandpa Green!

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