Did Al Green’s 2008 album slip under your radar too?
If you, like me, were also being distracted by some utterly forgettable music in 2008, you may want to check out Al Green’s album, Lay It Down, that he released in that year. I was 14 at this point and already a fan of some of his more classic tunes, yet confined myself to the mass produced bullshit on offer, which required more urgent attention in order to fit in with my peers. Some of you may not have been 14 at this point, but will have probably committed similar offences.
Never too late to redeem oneself though is it?
Produced by Questlove and James Poyser of The Roots, the album perfectly captures Al Green’s original 70s sound, echoing albums like Let’s Stay Together and Call Me. Other musical majesties on the album include: the Dap-Kings horns, bass extraordinaire and Tennessee Kid, Adam Blackstone, John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae and Anthony Hamilton.
The resemblance to Green’s work during this era is uncanny, down to harmonic shifts that should be uncomfortable to listen to (but aren’t) and punchy little horn sections. They went to great lengths to recreate this sound - Questlove told Rolling Stone how he and the other musicians involved had to forget about things like tuners, which they wouldn’t have had in in the 70s, and to re-teach themselves to play in a simpler style. Poor things!
My personal favourites from this are ‘You Got The Love I Need’, ‘Stay With Me (By The Sea)’, and ‘I’m Wild About You’, but check it out and behold the nostalgic mastery for yourself.