|Artist: Al Green|
|In his highly-anticipated third Blue Note album of new material, R&B/soul legend Al Green delivers a new urban sound with Lay It Down, a fantastic collection of original songs carefully crafted by Green and co-producers Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (The Roots) and James Poyser (Jill Scott, Mariah Carey, Erykah Badu). With arrangements showcasing The Dap-Kings Horns and strings by Larry Gold, all couched in Green's rich and timeless vocals -- highlighted by duet partners Corinne Bailey Rae, Anthony Hamilton, and John Legend -- this album is truly classic with a modern twist, expressing the best of the history and future of R&B/soul.|
This is Green's best work in years and will cater to audiences young and old through the marriage of his retro sound and the hip-hop & pop/urban mainstream successes of the album's contributors.
Al Green - Lay It Down - CD Review
By: Pico Blogcritics.org Reviews
Published on: 11/19/2008 9:59 PM
|This past May, soul giant Al Green released his third album on the Blue Note label, Lay It Down. While the prior two albums recreated some of the magic from his glory days in the seventies, this one tinkers with the formula a bit. First, longtime producer and song collaborator Willie Mitchell was replaced with hip-hoppers James Poyser and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson. Secondly, Green brought in a small parade of current R&B stars to share vocal duties with him, à la Santana's Supernatural....read the full review|
The title of Al Green's Lay It Down truly tells it like it is. Conceived as a collaboration between the soul legend and a handful of gifted young admirers from the worlds of contemporary R&B and hip hop, the album is drawn from a series of inspired sessions that yielded the most high-spirited, funky and often lushly romantic songs of Green's latter-day career. The album is a refreshingly old school jam, with everyone laying down the music together, face to face, heart to heart, soul to soul.
The project features the sophisticated R&B voices of singer-songwriters John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae, and it was co-produced with Green by two of hip-hop's most innovative players, drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson from The Roots and keyboardist James Poyser, the go-to guy for high-profile artists ranging from Erykah Badu to Common. Add in Brooklyn's celebrated Dap-King Horns (Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse), guitarist Chalmers "Spanky" Alford (Mighty Clouds of Joy, Joss Stone) and bassist Adam Blackstone (Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff), among others, and you've got a modern soul-music dream team, fronted by the most expressive voice in the business.
"The reason why we are doing this is because we all idolize Al Green," declares ?uestlove. "Even today, nobody has range like him."