Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Wilson Pickett: A Man and a Half: The Best of Wilson Pickett [Rhino/Atlantic, 1993]
Pickett's good albums didn't match Otis's great ones, and with only In the Midnight Hour (seven cuts) and The Exciting Wilson Pickett (four) in the racks, these 44 tracks are as much black macho as a nongangsta needs. His command was riveting, his strength sustaining, his scream epochal, his charm a boon. He got a lot of great party songs and a lot of great soul cries, and covered the Beatles, the Archies, and Free with equal aplomb. The previously unreleased live "Midnight Hour" is a true find. All that's missing is the postdisco shout where he finally said what he meant: "Lay Me Like You Hate Me." A+