Wilson Pickett It's Harder Now

I was actually wondering if Wilson Pickett was even still alive just a few days before this comeback album. Oh yeah, he's still alive, and what's most amazing is that the voice that made "In The Midnight Hour" a touchstone of mid-'60s soul has kept so much of its raw, gritty heart and force. I just wish I could say the same for his new material. He stoops to novelty (well, he did with "Land of 1000 Dances" 35 years ago, too, but that had soul galore); the songs are listless and the arrangements aren't as punchy as they are thudding. But as long as that voice is still good to go, maybe someone will have the foresight to team him up with some Memphis soul all-stars from days of yore, feed him some real vintage soul and feel the temperature rise. (Rounder)