Can We Pretend
Label: Legacy Recordings
Bill Withers' fourth release doesn't have a dud on it, yet it can't quite reach reach the heigths of his greatest albums, Still Bill and Live at Carnegie Hall. While no artist can be perfect forever, Withers' unique mix of soul, singer-songwriter introspection, tart social observation and hard-earned insight remains intact. "You" is a stinging rebuke to hipsters, "Heartbreak Road" is a bittersweet gem and "Can We Pretend" illustrates what an underrated ballad singer he is. "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh" only went to No. 50 on the charts, but -- like so many Withers singles -- it deserved better.