Al Green: “Call Me (Come Back Home)” (Call Me, 1973)
There is a quality in Al Green’s voice, or in how it is recorded, that makes it sound perfectly refrigerated. It is also capable of sounding deeply thatched, as if lacerated at the edges of its range. His voice determines the elemental drift of his songs, the way they seem to settle invisibly on their hooks. Especially this one, which flows so naturally from chord to chord it’s as if there is no chorus or verse, just waves of trembling color. Part of Green’s genius, though, is embedding innumerable tensions in an otherwise smooth and fluid surface. I think this is why, in both his vocal and physical performances, he appears to be gently contending with a darkness.