Lay It Down is the
Al GreenLay It Down(Blue Note)
Lay It Down is the “ultimate Al Green tribute album”—only it’s all original material by the man himself, said Joel Selvin in the San Francisco Chronicle. The soul legend’s third album for Blue Note Records recalls his glory days at Memphis’ Hi Records with longtime friend and producer Willie Mitchell. But Green isn’t stuck in the 1970s. On Lay It Down, the 62-year-old proudly hands down his “creative legacy” to a younger generation that includes John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae. The “neosoul brigade has been copping the Rev. Al’s sound” for years, said Jody Rosen in Rolling Stone. But this album proves there’s no replicating his “heaven-sent” voice. Green’s instrument is as stunning as ever, “gliding from burly lower-register growls to ethereal falsetto.” But producers ?uestlove and James Poyser of the Roots don’t demand much of their musical mentor, and as a result Lay It Down sounds all too similar to his past work. Yet it’s hard to complain about such a “peerless vocalist,” said Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. The slinky title track and Green’s “wordless falsetto hosannas” on “Too Much” alone make this album worthwhile.