“Memphis Unlimited” by O.V. Wright - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1973Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

Another thoroughly decent set from the 33-year-old soul singer, just that little bit rougher and tougher – therefore better – than Al Green, with high quality production from Memphis legend, Willie Mitchell, who delivers deeply soulful grooves and sharp horns as consistently as the sun sets in the east. This is O.V.’s fourth album of new music for Back Beat, and the first to be wholly conceived and executed as an album proper, rather than as a patchwork gathering of session various. There’s a slow-burning intensity to the work, which is at its best the more heart-breaking the tale – call me sick if you will. “He’s My Son (Just The Same)”, a song about a man who will take-on the child of his unfaithful wife, is so tragic you’ve got to laugh… if this was Swamp Dogg I’d be sure he was taking the piss but in the hands of O.V. he seems for real. Best of the mid-tempo groovers is “Lost In The Shuffle”, a beautifully orchestrated number that recalls the simplistic wonder of Redding’s “Fa-Fa-Fa” song and is rather magical. The funereal paced “Ghetto Child” is laced with lovely strings and a low-down organ which is downright churchly, a feeling which is nailed by O.V.’s mournful gospel moan. Right here, I get the feeling he could give it all up for “the lord” today. Thankfully, it never came to that…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:40] 5.8.png O.V. Wright - I’ve Been Searching (Earl Randle) Soul
A2 [03:19] 6.1.png O.V. Wright - Nothing Comes To A Sleeper (Earl Randle) Soul
A3 [02:36] 4.9.png O.V. Wright - The Only Thing That Saved Me (Darryl Carter, James Shaw) Soul
A4 [02:50] 6.7.png O.V. Wright - He’s My Son (Just The Same) (Donald Robey, George Hollis) Soul Ballad
A5 [02:44] 5.3.png O.V. Wright - You Must Believe In Yourself (Charles Jerue) Soul
A6 [03:30] 6.8.png O.V. Wright - Lost In The Shuffle (Earl Randle) Soul
B1 [02:46] 6.2.png O.V. Wright - I’d Rather Be (Blind, Crippled And Crazy) (Charles Hodges, Darryl Carter, Overton Vertis Wright) Soul
B2 [04:08] 6.0.png O.V. Wright - Please Forgive Me (Charles Hodges, Donald Robey, Earl Randle) Soul Ballad
B3 [03:12] 6.5.png O.V. Wright - Are You Going Where I’m Coming From (Donald Robey, Earl Wright) Soul
B4 [03:34] 6.9.png O.V. Wright - Ghetto Child (Donald Robey, Johnny Copeland) Soul Ballad
B5 [03:33] 5.1.png O.V. Wright - Memory Blues (Donald Robey) Soul Ballad
B6 [02:46] 6.0.png O.V. Wright - I’m Going Home (To Live With God) (Traditional) Soul
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