Album review

Bill Withers

MENAGERIE

SONY LEGACY

Though he's something of a recluse these days, Bill Withers remains one of the finest R&B songwriters ever. 1972's Still Bill is perhaps his finest album, from the terse, sexy funk of "Use Me" to the gospel-infused consolation of "Lean On Me." Five years on, Menagerie found him upping the production and concentrating on romantic ballads, but the undeniable "Lovely Day" is as sunny as good pop gets, and Withers' mellow-but-manly croon melts hearts at a thousand paces.

Rating: 4 / 10


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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...