eMusic Review 0
In retrospect: a truly ironic title, given the year Cooke had endured — his son, Vincent, died prior to these sessions — and the further tragedy that loomed on the horizon. Cooke was enjoying a greater degree of creative freedom, as evidenced by the diversity of arrangements here. On one hand, there's the playful scamper of the title track and "Tennessee Waltz," or the throwback flair of "Good Times" and "Another Saturday Night." Flip the record over and Cooke unwinds over a series of polished, orchestral ballads. The pivot point is Cooke's soaring, timeless "A Change is Gonna Come." It was a protest and a prophecy; it remains three of the most gorgeous, perfectly crafted minutes of all time. Quickly adopted as an anthem by civil rights workers, Cooke would not be around to bear witness. By the end of the year, he was dead — shot by a hotel manager acting, she claimed, in self-defense, under the most mysterious of circumstances.