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Everything’s OK’ with Al Green

Becca Saunders | Thursday, April 7, 2005

Al Green has finally returned. Although the Reverend Al Green has not been in the business of real soul music since the mid-70s, he has finally returned to full form in his newest album, “Everything’s OK.” The latest album is produced by Willie Mitchell, the producer Green worked with in the early 70s when he earned his title as – according to many listeners – the first real soul artist. The two worked together on a 2003 album called “I Can’t Stop,” but many critics felt the album was weighed down by Green’s desire to hold onto the spiritual and gospel elements in its music. “Everything’s OK” suffers from no such ailment. Green has officially risen from the depths of gospel music and is soulfully singing at the height of his talent.Green is a man with a rich and interesting history. After rising to fame in the early 1970s with his soul hits, Green’s career took a severe swerve at the height of his fame in 1974. Mary Woodson, one of Green’s ex-girlfriends broke into his home and poured boiling grits on Green while he was bathing, causing severe buns on his back, stomach and arms before shooting herself. This incident was interpreted by Green as a sign from God that he should go into ministry. Thus he bought a church, became a pastor and, although he released other albums during that time period, never became as popular as he once was. “Everything’s OK” is a reminder of what Al Green was and what he still is. Green’s voice does not seem to have aged a day with his falsetto still piercing the beats of many of the songs. The album makes one feel like he has stepped back into the best part of 70s and it is hard to do anything but enjoy it.While the title track is probably the single best song on “Everything’s OK,” there are many other high points on this generally solid album. There is not a bad song on “Everything’s OK,” but there are some better ones, such as, “Build Me Up” and the new renditions of the past hits “Perfect to Me,” “You Are So Beautiful” and “Real Love.” Green transforms the over-popularized song “You Are So Beautiful” into the best and most passionately believable version ever sung. With a good mix of upbeat and deeply soulful songs, “Everything’s OK” makes for an album that one can simply listen to again and again. There is no question that “Everything’s OK” in the musical world of the Reverend Al Green – everything is terrific. Although the album is a bit stacked with the best songs on the first half of the track list, the entire album reveals the Green that fans and those who do not know that they are fans yet have waited more than 30 years for. Thank the Lord – the Reverend is back.