Al Green

Trust in God

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Released in 1984, Trust in God finds Green distracted throughout. Around the same time of this, a brilliant documentary, The Gospel According to Al Green, was being worked on. The film's subtext of Green shunning yet still loving R&B worked its way into the studio, too. This is gospel all right, but often of the perfunctory, barely awake variant. As pure gospel was causing Green's mind to wander, he attempted to solve the problem by covering early-'70s pop songs. Joe South's "Don't It Make You Wanta Go Home" gets a great and involved vocal from Green. The best song, the Jean Terrell-era Supremes "Up the Ladder to the Roof," turns into a prime Al Green song, with its sly drums and all of Green's attention. The same can't be said for the doomed covers of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Lean on Me." They might have worked, but Green perfunctorily sings only the choruses of both songs. "Never Met Nobody Like You" picks up on the contemporary, synth-based momentum of I'll Rise Again. The song is also notable for the fact that it's basically a secular love song until Green sings "Thank you Jesus" to snap himself back in focus. Other tracks in the religious vein, "Holy Spirit," "All We Need Is a Little More Love," and the title track all catch Green with his mind wandering and on automatic pilot. Other Green religious albums, Higher Plane and I'll Rise Again, have him reconciling his pop/gospel matters. Trust in God doesn't, and it's only really notable and recommended because of that fact.

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