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How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?


Brian Cullman

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

You listen to Al Green, of course.


Same as people have been doing for nearly 50 years.


And maybe he doesn’t have the casual passion of Sam Cooke, lifting the church’s panties without missing a beat, nor the tough & tender gruffness of Otis Redding, ending up on the losing end and placing the same losing bet over and over again. Because why not?

But Al Green has always had an everyman’s soulfulness, a plainspoken quality he shares with Bill Withers, that sense that heartbreak was something you just had to get through, that loneliness and pain might be on everyone’s menu, but so was love, so was friendship and simple honesty. And those were not side dishes, they were the entrees on his table. And everyone was invited.

At Journal of the Plague Year, we find the undiscovered, the lost, the forgotten, the stranger half-glimpsed around a corner, that song or book you knew you needed but didn't know existed.

Two years ago, the gods of Amazonia seduced Al Green out of retirement to make his first new recording in a decade, singing that song Freddy Fender made famous, with that Tex-Mex swing that just rolled over any troubles and made them purr. If Al Green didn't exactly make the song his own, neither did he make you miss Mr. Fender in the slightest.

But we missed the song. We never heard it. You probably didn't either. And here it is, complete with the signature sound of those old Hi recordings, the ones with Willie Mitchell producing and Teenie Hodges strutting away on guitar. That sound, that style is here in all its glory, and even though Mitchell and Hodges are long gone, their feel is alive, front and center, along with that beautiful, yearning voice.

How can you mend a broken heart?


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Before the Next Teardrop Falls ::: Al Green

For The Good Times ::: Al Green

Funny How Time Slips Away ::: Al Green

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry ::: Al Green

I Want To Hold Your Hand ::: Al Green

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart ::: Al Green