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'Justments

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iTunes Review

As a songwriter, Bill Withers always favored simple arrangements and closely observed images of everyday life over grand gestures, and on ‘Justments this tendency only becomes more pronounced. Listeners looking for anthemic refrains on the order of Still Bill’s “Lean on Me” may find themselves disappointed by this reflective, deliberately quiet set. But those willing to pay attention will find that ‘Justments is ultimately one of Withers' most rewarding efforts and contains some of his very best and most underappreciated work. Many of the contributors who made Withers’ earlier studio efforts for Sussex so remarkable return here, including bassist Mel Dunlop and drummer James Gadson; their precision and inventiveness add unexpected rhythmic flavor to even Withers’ most relaxed ballads. Sussex execs chose the brooding “Same Love That Made Me Laugh” as the album's lead single. Yet nearly any of the uniformly strong compositions here would have served equally well, particularly “Can We Pretend,” which features gorgeous, near-psychedelic production flourishes; it's one of the set's strongest moments.

Customer Reviews

Finally available again--Bill's lost classic

This never came out on CD, but thankfully you can download it here. Another fantastic Bill Withers album in the same pocket as Just As I Am and Still Bill, which means the kind of down-home sanger/songwriter groove that nobody has done before or since. Own it.

Wow!

Ran across this album and rediscovered my youth. "Can We Pretend," "Make A Smile for Me" -- pure, innocent, timeless. This is Bill Withers at his best!

A Forgotten Good One....Almost Got Away

This album is worth the price of admission alone for two tracks, the better known "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh" was covered by Diana Ross, on her also underrated "Baby It's Me". (By the way, the Diva herself is a big Bill Withers fan) .At least "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh" shows up on different greatest hits compilations. But my personal treasure is the beautiful, "Can We Pretend". I love the flamenco guitar and of course, Bill's passionate performance. I searched for this for years and held onto my vinyl copy until I stumbled across this during an iTunes search. As someone mentioned it never made it to CD. So I have been playing that song repeatedly since I added it to my music library.
Bill also had a tremendous gift on capturing the heartbreak of love. He would match "Can We Pretend" in its austere beauty later on with "Hello Like Before". Haven't we all been there before at the closing days of a great love affair....an affair that once held such promise. And now all that's left is the awkward silence that Carly Simon beautifully captured in the lyrics to "That's The Way I've Always Heard it Should Be", when two lovers have lost both the will and the ability to communicate so....."Can We Pretend".

Biography

Born: July 4, 1938 in Slab Fork, WV

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Songwriter/singer/guitarist Bill Withers is best remembered for the classic "Lean on Me" and his other million-selling singles "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Use Me," but he has a sizable cache of great songs to his credit. Al Jarreau recorded an entire CD of Withers' songs on Tribute to Bill Withers (Culture Press 1998). His popular radio-aired LP track from Still Bill, "Who Is He? (And What Is He to You?)," was a 1974 R&B hit for Creative Source. Born July 4, 1938, in Slab Fork, WV, Withers was the...
Full Bio