eMusic Review 0
In the wake of Otis Redding's death, gospel-rooted Johnnie Taylor — like Sam Cooke, a graduate of the fabled Soul Stirrers gospel group — became Stax's most consistent male hit-maker. Armed with a scalding scream and a clipped, throaty delivery, the Arkansas native scored a dozen Top 10 R&B hits from 1968 to 1975 with a left-right combination of alternately punchy (the crossover classic "Who's Makin' Love," "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone" and "Hijackin' Love") and pained (the gimlet-eyed "Cheaper to Keep Her," "We're Getting Careless With Our Love") odes to infidelity that earned him the nickname of "the soul philosopher." They're all here, along with solid covers of the Parliaments' "Testify" and Jimmy Hughes' "Steal Away," the Bobby Bland-style blues of "Doing My Own Thing," and the Jesse Jackson-inspired, self-affirmation anthem, "I Am Somebody." The slinky arrangements are courtesy producer Don Davis, who later teamed with the now-deceased Taylor (1938-2000) for the pop smash "Disco Lady."