Tag: soul music

MUSIC REVIEW | Al Green – Call Me (1973)

Green 1
When he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Al Green was described as, “one of the most gifted purveyors of soul music”. Rolling Stone named Green one of the Top 100 Artists of All Time. I have no doubt that he more than deserves those accolades and praise. What I have no idea about, is why. As in, I know his name, I believe his legacy is more than earned, I assume I know plenty of his hits. But I don’t think I can name a single Al Green song off the top of the head. But that’s something I’ll hopefully be able to remedy in 35 minutes, by listening to Call Me.

From the slow but dancable groove of Call Me (Come Back Home), the sexy falsetto of Have You Been Making Out OK, only two tracks in and Al Green is more than living up to his lofty reputation. Which is even more justified when the horns are let loose on Stand Up. Things go from slow jam sexy to pants droppingly sultry on I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. How could a woman hear this and not want to invite Green to her bed to help cheer him up? It’s the kind of song that would make straight dudes everywhere wonder just how straight they really are… I think I’ve said too much. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Aretha Franklin – Aretha Arrives (1967)


Aretha Franklin is musical royalty. She has songs that everyone knows, regardless of age, or interest in music in general. Respect, Chain of Fools and I Say a Little Prayer are tunes that will more than likely live on forever. But outside of the massive hits, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a single other Aretha Franklin song. At the very least, I’ve never consciously chosen to listen to a single other Aretha Franklin song. But surely, she’s bigger and better than those few hits. Which is something I’m hoping to find out with Aretha Arrives.

Opening with a soul interpretation of the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction, the first thing I realise about this period is the attitude towards cover songs. Nowadays, when someone covers an already famous song, it’s seen as a gimmick at best. Remember when Alien Ant Farm did Smooth Criminal with guitars? They’re the kinds of covers that get that reaction, and the bands’ reputations tend to suffer long after the novelty has worn off. But back in the 60s, it was like songs belonged to music in general, and as long as you put a unique spin on it, that was OK. And Franklin delivers a pretty great unique spin, belting out the familiar melody with a totally new life. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Muscle Shoals (2013)

Muscle Shoals
“There are certain places where there is a feeling of energy”. – Jimmy Cliff.

Little engines that could always make a great subject for a documentary. Those small town stories, where its small town residents defy the odds and take on the big city moguls and money, beating them at their own game. And when that success involves some of the biggest names in music from the last half century or so, you know it’s going to be a story worth watching. Which is exactly what you get with Muscle Shoals.

The self proclaimed, but deservedly so, hit record capital of the world, Muscle Shoals is an otherwise unimposing small town in Alabama, on the banks of the Tennessee River. But ever since a local boy decided to build his own recording studio in the 50s, this otherwise unimposing small town in Alabama, on the banks of the Tennessee River, has cranked out countless hit songs in almost every genre. (more…)