Here I Am (EMI)

by: Al Green

CEMA Special Markets' budget-line collection Here I Am does a really nice job picking out highlights from Al Green's classic Hi recordings. Of course, Green was arguably the most consistent soul vocalist of the '70s -- you could pick songs at random and come up with a very entertaining collection. And that's essentially what has happened here. There is no rhyme nor reason as to why certain singles were chosen over others, or why these particular album tracks are featured, but it's inarguable that hearing "Call Me," "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," "Belle," "Livin' for You," "L-O-V-E," "Full of Fire" and "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)" on one disc is very pleasurable indeed. Sure, any version of the Greatest Hits albums is preferable to this, as are the original albums, but this still is a good choice for listeners on a tight budget. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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