Customer Review

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still excellent, as his Hi career winds down, 14 Oct 2006
This review is from: Legendary Hi Albums, Vol. 3 (Audio CD)
The 3rd set in this series contains the final 4 albums Al recorded for Hi records. This takes the listener to the point where he became the Reverend Al Green and renounced secular music. On all 4 albums there are hints of this on several songs, although none are full on Gospel, the lyrics are usually ambiguous.

On "Full Of Fire" the usual Al Green elements are well in evidence, and there are a couple of uptempo delights in "Let It Shine", which is almost funk, and the title track. The rest of the album features several slow love songs, but my personal favourite is "Thats the Way It Is", which hits a a loping hypnotic groove.

"Have a Good Time" is probably my least favourite Al Green album, largely because of the production - gone is the spare and pared down sound which allowed Al to weave in and out of the tune, and although he is still on fine vocal form, there are to many tracks where he is way back in the mix, drowned in syrupy backing vocals and strings - "Smile..." is simply awful, as an example. Paradoxically, when he does revisit that sound, he comes up with an absolute classic - "Nothing Takes the lace Of You" is vintage Al Green and superb.

Happily, everyone seems to have got the message, because "Belle" gets back to a more basic sound, and it has several stand out tracks as a result. You have the Funk of "Chariots Of Fire" and "I Feel Good" (not the JB song), with the shuffling "Loving You", which bursts into life on the chorus. Slower pace is found on the title track and the closer "Dream", which harks back to those ballad covers that featured on his albums earlier in the decade. Incidentally, most of the tracks have a religious lyric.

When we get to "Truth and Time", things are leaning even more towards the Gospel, e.g. King of All. The vocal performance is still typical Al Green for the most part, as on the title track and there is Funk on "Wait Here" and "Happy"(someone had obviously been listening to the Isleys and Stevie Wonder), but this is not an altogether convincing album.

Taken as a whole and for completeness this is worth your time and money, but buy it for a few stand out tracks rather than to immerse yourself in the man's talent - buy volumes 1 and 2 for that
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Jan 2009 15:59:51 GMT
This review seems to be misplaced, for it's describing volume 3 rather than volume 2 of this set

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2009 18:07:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Feb 2009 09:48:36 GMT
Andy Edwards says:
Jon, in my review list it goes against vol 3, but Amazon have included it under my review for Vol 2 also - I guess they want you to have a look at that volume as well !!
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