Syl Johnson

Dresses Too Short

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Johnson's debut album was a decent but derivative mix of cheery, uptempo Southern soul, somewhat in the mold of Joe Tex (in fact, one of the cuts, "I'll Take Those Skinny Legs," is an obvious takeoff of Tex's hit "Skinny Legs and All"). "Ode to Soul Man" also shows that Johnson was listening to a lot of James Brown at this point. "Come on Sock It to Me," his first hit, is highlighted by some fluid bluesy guitar runs that serve to help elevate the material a bit from the crowded late-'60s Southern soul pack. The album was reissued in conjunction with his second album, the more mature Is It Because I'm Black?, on a single disc by Kent in 1997.

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