Friday, December 21, 2007

No. 289: Call Me

Band: Al Green
Album: Call Me
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Another of Green's classic records, "Call Me" is likely Green's best team. On the record, Green hits some country roads and black power themes, all while serenading us with his saccharine voice.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I'm not super familiar with the record, but I do enjoy it. So, let's say that it's ranked correctly. Why not?
Best song: "You Ought to Be With Me" is great.
Worst song: I don't love "Your Love Is Like the Morning Sun."
Is it awesome?: Sure.

Al Green's voice is starting to grow on me. I can't lie. I'm really enjoying his emotive singing style. Green makes you want to believe him so much that I almost converted to Christianity after hearing "Jesus Is Waiting." Almost.

Otherwise, it's a fun mixup of genres all while keeping with Green's soulful R&B style. His interpretation of Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away" works as Green's voice echoes Nelson's honey twang, whereas his straight play of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is brilliant. His black power anthem, "Stand Up," is understated and wonderful, while "You Ought to Be With Me" is raucous and fun. The guitar on "Here I Am" is a pleasant genre hop while Green's voice is the star on the title track.

Supposedly, Willie Mitchell's production is the main reason the record sounds this way and I wouldn't dispute that. Bringing overarching strings into the mix to help with the already fantastic horn sections that Green had employed gives the album a lush, orchestrated feel.

Maybe the repetition is the cause, but I really enjoyed "Call Me." I'm not the world's biggest Al Green fan, but this one is really fantastic.


Because this is the last Al Green record on the list, it's probably best to recount the most famous thing about Al Green. From our good friend Wikipedia:

It is believed that [longtime Green confidant Mary Woodson] ardently wished to be more than just a friend to Al Green. One night, she left the guest quarters, then entered the main section of the house without permission. She snuck into his bathroom to make a surprise attack. With no warning whatsoever, she threw a large pot of sticky boiling grits over him as he was undressed and preparing to shower. As Al Green writhed in pain, she ran into another part of the house and committed suicide by shooting herself.

So, uh, there's that. That was the year he put out "Take Me To The River." Coincidence? Probably not.

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