Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Al Green: Al Green Gets Next to You [Hi, 1970]
With Willie Mitchell performing the Booker T. function, Hi of Memphis has turned into a pocket of naivete (or reaction) (or traditionalism) on the confused black pop scene. Green plays the boyish Sam Cooke supplicant--or maybe a smooth Otis Redding, or an assertive Smokey Robinson--with the startling is-that-a-synthesizer? high note that climaxes "Tired of Being Alone" serving as a trademark. He also covers the Doors, the Temptations, Roosevelt Sykes, and the gospel-phase Johnnie Taylor. And closes out side two with some greasy hard funk like you just don't hear anymore. A