eMusic Review 0
In Robert Christgau's review of Al Green's 1972 album, Let's Stay Together, he admits to being sick of the title track and expresses his overall disappointment with the album succinctly: "The album doesn't include one piece of real funk."
Nearly 30 years later, "Let's Stay Together," Al Green's first number one hit, has been caned on every "Lite" station and Long Island wedding reception from Christgau's day right up to the present. But I'll be goddamned if this album is without the funk. Sure, the funk is understated, as is Al's wont. He is too proud to beg and be ungentlemanly and overt in his intent, but the backing of the Hodges brothers (Leroy Charles, and Teenie) with Booker T.'s drummer Al Jackson makes it impossible for the album's deep cuts to be bereft of funk. Who else could alchemically convert the glop of the Bee Gee's "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" into a terse and stirring soul epic? And check in on "So You're Leaving" (with its deft "Who Do You Love" coda) or the string-laced stomp of "I Never Found a Girl" to hear how much "real funk" still lingers here.