Perhaps Soul Music's happiest surprise in 2004 year was the release of Rev.
Al Green's I Can't Stop, a funky, organic shot back to the great Al Green/Willie Mitchell sounds of the 70s that reminded us again of what a seminal artist Green was and is. The wonderful reception that that album received made a follow-up necessary, and Green and producer Mitchell wasted no time getting back together to create Everything's OK. And while the new disc doesn't include anything as immediately gripping as the instant classic title cut of I Can't Stop, there's an awful lot to recommend here. Like its predecessor, OK is a welcome shot of great Southern soul, highlighted throughout by the fantastic Royal Horns, a punchy rhythm section and Robert Clayborne's everpresent organ. And of course the centerpiece is Green's voice, sounding as nimble as it did 30 years ago. Whether wailing, pleading and moaning on the bluesy ballads "Perfect to Me" and the fine "Real Love" or soulfully howling and cajoling on such terrific funky numbers as "Nobody But You" and "Magic Road," Green's voice is singular. This may be a secular album by the great Reverend, but he's clearly taking his readers to Church, and we're all happily back in the congregation. A great listen.
by Chris Rizik