Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Otis Redding: Tell the Truth [Atco, 1970]
Atlantic is obviously scraping bottom on Otis--there's nothing here I'd play to prove he was the greatest soul singer who ever lived, and several of the performances sound exploratory. But almost every track offers some special moment--the curly little horn part on "Give Away None of My Love," Otis's offer to bet "five dollars and a quarter or even more" on "Snatch a Little Piece," his tributes to fellow Maconites James Brown and Richard Penniman. And even when he's got-ta got-ta got-ta do his shtick he's one of a kind. B+