Likewise, the live, organic instrumentation (by the near-legendary Dap Kings and others) is on-point, as are the guest vocals by contemporary stars John Legend on "Stay With Me (By The Sea)," Corinne Bailey Rae ("Take Your Time") and Anthony Hamilton. Among the album's highlights are the album's warm, simmering title track, the upbeat neo-retro jam "Standing In the Rain" and the aforementioned "Take Your Time," a sultry, slow-burning duet that packs enough steamy sexuality to heat up any bedroom session.
Much like country legend Loretta Lynn benefited greatly by bringing in the White Stripes' Jack White to produce her Van Lear Rose album, the Reverend Al has regained his relevance in today's marketplace and added to his legacy by collaborating with ?uestlove. And Al himself seems to be all-too-aware of this: his voice sounds so crisp and sharp, it's like he's been born again. The album isn't perfect - some songs can be a little dull and not worth repeated listening - but overall, Lay It Down is a welcome return to form for one of America's greatest living '70s Soul vocalists.