Al Wilson Spice of Life
- Released: January 30, 2001
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Classic World
- 1.Show And Tell
- 2.La La (Peace Song)
- 3.Touch And Go
- 4.I Won't Last A Day Without You
- 6.You Do The Right Thing
- 7.Desires / I'll Wait For You
- 8.Lottery Of Love
- 9.Curacao Lady
- 10.Short Stakes And Bad Brakes / Harry's Lament
- 11.Lightning Bolts, Tornadoes, And Rainbows
- 12.Lolita From Bonita
- 13.Cutting Corners
- 14.Weeping In The City
- 15.We're Gonna Need One Another
- 16.Show And Tell (1996 Version)
Al Wilson has one of the smoothest, most reliable voices in the world of soul music. His gorgeous vocals have made him a touring sensation and although he has never really cracked the mainstream, he still maintains a loyal audience. Spice of Life, a collection of tracks that span his entire career, illustrate both his strengths and his weaknesses as a performer. His best songs are tracks like "Touch and Go" or "Show and Tell" -- tracks that utilize a full band to accentuate his voice. Next to a group of horns and a funky bassist, Wilson shines. Unfortunately, without that kind of setup, Wilson sounds lost and the arrangements lose focus. A perfect example of this is "Lottery of Love," a song that comes off as awkward and unfocused because of the hollow keyboard arrangement that backs up his vocals. The lyrics for this song, which given the right backdrop could have turned out quite funny, instead just come off as silly and boring. Around half of the album suffers from these empty setups, with only "Short Stakes and Bad Brakes/Harry's Lament" really delivering some quality Al Wilson despite the keyboards. Fans of Wilson may still enjoy this very much, but casual listeners should be warned that a good portion of this album lacks the passion that his early singles maintain. ~ Bradley Torreano
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