Gets Next to You

Gets Next to You

Otis Redding’s death left a huge personality void in Memphis soul. It took a couple of years for Al Green to signal his ability and intention to fill it, but his 1970 Gets Next to You already presents an artist with most of his gifts and idiosyncrasies in place. The album opens with a slowed-down version of the Temptations’ recent frenetic hit “I Can’t Get Next to You” that allows plenty of room for a distracted lovesickness to rule, while “Tired of Being Alone” looks toward the mellow breakthrough of “Let’s Stay Together.” Green also hits hard on rockers—“Driving Wheel,” the funny “I’m a Ram”—and offers the reassuring gospel message of “God Is Standing By.” GetsNext to You is a stellar statement of direction and intent.

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