Although historical evaluations of James Brown's work during the last half of the '60s tend to focus on the innovative funk of his biggest hit singles, his repertoire -- both live and on record -- in fact remained pretty versatile. Like his other '60s studio albums, Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud is more R&B/pop-conscious than a lot of listeners would expect, mixing the funky monsters "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" and "Licking Stick" with soul ballads. It's a notch above similar albums from earlier in the decade, however, in that the slow numbers are usually gritty slow-burns that eschew syrupy orchestration.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger