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Al Green: Sanctity & Sexuality on a Higher Plane

Geoffrey Himes, Musician, April 1983

LISTENING TO Al Green's three gospel albums for Myrrh Records is a disorienting experience. The songs are traditional hymns that have been sung in black Protestant churches for decades. But Green, the sexiest soul singer of the 70s, uses the same Memphis musicians, the same steamy syncopation, the same repertoire of husky, shuddering, guttural and squealing vocal come-ons that marked his old hits. The lyrics may direct the listeners' eyes heavenward, but the music causes that devil's zone between the navel and the knees to undulate uncontrollably.

Total word count of piece: 2804


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