Not only does STILL BILL capture Bill Withers's excellent playing and singing and his seemingly effortless synthesis of soul, folk, gospel, and funk, it is packed front to back with some of the best songs he ever wrote (and there were a good many of them). His most popular and best-known tune is here, the stirring, hymn-like "Lean On Me" (it was a #1 hit for Withers at the time, and has been further popularized in several cover versions). Also here is "Use Me," another hit, which boasts a twist on traditional love songs with a gutsy, syncopated rhythmic drive that is nearly irresistible.
Yet everything else on the album holds up to the strength of these singles. The slinky, suspicious "Who Is He (And What Is He To You)," the smooth, lover man soul of "Let Me In Your Life," the jazzy, hi-hat driven funk of "Another Day To Run" all go down perfectly. This is due mostly to Withers's subtle, organic sound and warm, soulful voice-- the album is so pleasurable to listen to it is easy to overlook the superior quality of the songs and the complex, layered arrangements. STILL BILL is one of those records that always sounds good: played loudly or quietly, day and night, summer and winter. It is endlessly playable, and one of the unjustly overlooked singer/songwriter albums of the '70s or any era.
- Released: 02/21/12
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Funk / Soul