After nearly 50 years of singing professionally, Al Green seems to have finally come home with his latest CD, Everything’s OK.
nearly 50 years of singing professionally, Al Green seems to have
finally come home with his latest CD, Everythings OK.
Although Green rose to pop stardom with his sexy, soulful vocal
delivery, he has been concentrating almost exclusively on gospel
recordings since 1976. The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee admits
the difficulty in balancing the secular and spiritual worlds of
I wanted to put on this album who I am - to fess up
to it, Green aknowledges. Im the Reverend Al Green,
and everybody calls me that, from Argentina all the way to the Catskills.
So thats who I am. Ive got people in the church saying,
Thats a secular song, and Im saying, Yeah,
but youve got Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
and Saturday to be anything other than spiritual. Youve got
to live those days, too! Everybody still needs love, needs
happiness in the family, needs to keep the kids on track.
Not only is Everythings OK the third secular album
Green has released in three decades, but it is also a reunion with
longtime producer and arranger, Willie Mitchell. The landmark collaborators
Memphis studio is the exact location Green recorded several monumental
tracks: Lets Stay Together, I Cant
Get Next to You, Lets Get Married, and countless
others. Green openly aknowledges Mitchell for helping create his
distinctive body of work. The lively singer elaborates, Willie
has that twinkle in his eye, he has a talent. Hes the founder
of the Al Green sound, that personal sound. Its finishing
the aural painting that we started with Tired of Being Alone,
Lets Stay Together, For the Good Times
and all those things. Its a beautiful painting and we should
finish it, so thats what were doing.
Ironically, it was the pairs reconnection that sparked the
CDs optimistic title. While discussing his working relationship
with Mitchell throughout the years, Green admits, Weve
been recording now for 32 years, and we went through some hills
and valleys, some low points and high points, some great spots and
not-so-great spots. But we looked around and we said, Hey!
Everythings OK! Regardless of how we thought it would
turn out, everything has turned out OK.
There are few performers who can write and deliver such stirring
love ballads as the Reverend Al Green. The singer/songwriter wrote
six of the twelve tracks alone and one gets the feeling that the
artist was especially focused in this effort. Even when singing
secular music, his spiritual optimism radiates through
each word with boundless energy. On the title track, Green gleefully
croons with more youthful energy than any 58-year-old man should
possess. His ecstatic wailing on I Wanna Hold You will
remind listeners of the most passionate, sensual moments from the
Lets Stay Together era.
On the ballads such as Perfect to Me, the singers
silky voice whispers and sails with genuine, touching intimacy.
The albums finest hour may be his remake of the Joe Cocker
hit, You Are So Beautiful to Me. Instead of Cockers
sandpaper voice everyone expects, Reverend Greens refined,
pure tenor glides through the song with otherworldly conviction.
Once again, Green generously credits Mitchells skillful production
for the tracks triumphant feeling. He explains, That
was Willie Mitchells baby. He loves that song, and I already
knew it because I love Joe Cocker. Willie told me, Let your
guard down and then just sing it, and thats what I tried
to do. With his fervent delivery over a bed of organ, woodwinds,
and a string section, the standard sounds like a gospel hymn for
a new era.
In the end, Green seems happy with his role as a soul-singing reverend
and recognizes his many gifts. He beams, The music is the
message, the message is the music. So thats my little ministry
that the Big Man upstairs gave to me - a little ministry called
love and happiness.