Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Al Green: Greatest Hits [The Right Stuff/Hi, 1995]
With the Hall of Famer's pop oeuvre now in print and worth owning (start Call Me, Gets Next to You, Living for You, Belle Album), this 15-track expansion of the 10-track classic may seem de trop. But unlike Aretha, his only rival vocally, Al never sold himself short in the studio. Where the albums follow the vagaries of genius, the hits exploit Al's personal production line, every one a perfect soul record and a perfect pop record in whatever order suits your petty little values. Brashly feminine and seductively woman-friendly, he breaks free in a register that darts and floats and soars into falsetto with startling frequency and beguiling ease. He's so gorgeous, so sexy, so physically attractive that only masochists want to live without him. A+