Something To Say
Released: November 1972
Chart Peak: #30
Weeks Charted: 21
The Cocker vindication? Well, he has in effect answered all his critics in the only way he knows, for he is essentially a doer, not an articulator, and the demarcation provided by the two sides of the new album explains it all most competently: side one being the musical rap/commentary, and side two the down-home roots blues. "'Cos that's the only thing I know," he shrieks frantically, and there it is -- the sole statement of self-explanation and definition that he really needs. Firmly establishing himself in gear at this early stage of the game leaves him both scope and time to get down to what he obviously feels to be the important business of side two.
This album is, when all be said and done, riddled with meaningful soul. It is damned easier than ever right now to penetrate the depths of Cocker's music, so damned easy that it worries me. He is close to performing like a veteran on this album, as if already past his peak. Well, and so Cocker has passed this particular obstacle with Dope-Flying colors, but then the whole game is just a series of obstacles... If he somehow forges the strength to rise above the dark negativism of his Detractors, then we, the real Cocker lovers, know he can make it.
Even without a little help...
- Tony Franklin, Rolling Stone, 3/1/73.
I don't think Joe Cocker has ever made a bad record. He has been consistently good, and he has been fortunate in the quality of his backing musicians. His style hasn't changed -- except for an improvement in enunciation -- and if he doesn't do anything new, well, he doesn't have to. He maintains his standard of quality, and for that I'm glad. He's an authentic funker. This album, for which Cocker people have been waiting for a long time, is solid and swingy. Cocker roars on!
- Joel Vance, Stereo Review, 5/73.
It's said that Cocker's voice is gone, and I suppose that's true -- it was never much less rough, but it was richer and more flexible. And the live "Do Right Woman" on side two is an overstated embarrassment. But the music on side one, with Chris Stainton providing the same old propulsion on piano as well as -- hmm -- collaborating with this supposed interpreter-only on some good-to-terrific songs, is as rollicking as ever, and the rest of side two is OK. The magic is gone, that's for sure, but maybe it's gone from us, not from him. B+
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
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