Sound — 8
Starting out with an instrumental track is always a small risk, but when the quality of blues is as good as this one then you find yourself forgetting that there are no words at all as the guitar speaks a volume of words. The opening track has an unusual familiarness to it, leaving you uncertain as to whether you've heard it before but with a burning desire to make your guitar sing like that. The blues sound twists throughout the album, from the almost bouncing intro, through a more ballady type blues with 'Stormy Monday Blues', then onto the familiar 'Born Under A Bad sign' with it's guitar squealing over the bass-driven rhythm, then back onto a slightly more "up-beat" blues with 'You're My Woman, I'm Your Man". The sound is easily accessible, even to those who aren't really into blues and doesn't have the same difficult edge to it that some people find in, say, Robert Johnson albums. All in all, the sound represents the blues sound and style in a way so there's something for everyone, although some people may find the slight 'squealiness' of the guitar puts them off listening to the songs.
Lyrics — 8
There's nothing outstanding as such about some of the lyrics, "I worked hard today, and I'm tired as a man can be", and it can be argued that the best lyrics are from songs that Albert King did not write the lyrics to. However, with blues music, there is a standard or type of lyrics that you expect, and you cannot forget that the lyrics were written around 1978. So, whilst the lyrics may not be particularly outstanding on one level, it's suitability to the music being played is top-notch. This is helped along by King's soulful tones, so the guitar, lyrics and vocals all echo off of each other.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, I would say that compared to other Blues artists that I have heard, this album definitely stands above average, perhaps not standing at the forefront with the best albums but not far behind them. It's an easy listening introduction to a great bluesman's music and from there, a gateway to other blues. I didn't originally think I was going to like the album when I was given it but a few listens has put a number of the songs off of it onto my playlist. As I said earlier, the 'squeal' of the guitar can get repetitive after a while but it is not a bad album at all. The most impressive song would either be the instrumental "King's Bounce" or "Born Under A Bad Sign". If this album was lost or stolen I would probably buy a new copy but I may be tempted to look at some of his other albums first.