Alongside its predecessor LIFE, LOVE AND FAITH, SOUTHERN NIGHTS is one of Allen Toussaint's finest albums. Having worked as a writer, studio musician, and producer for some of the city's best-known acts, Toussaint is one of New Orleans's most versatile and influential musical figures, embodying a wide-ranging stylistic palette and a deep understanding of his city's heritage. And nowhere is this more apparent than on 1975's SOUTHERN NIGHTS.
In addition to the man's trademark funk-soul sound, the album boasts Toussaint's ambitious arrangements (especially in the thematic musical links between songs), which are psychedelic and cinematic at once. Even better, though, are the tunes. The album is packed with winners from back to front, with "Southern Nights" (later popularized by Glen Campbell) and "What Do You Want the Girl to Do?" weighing in as two of the artist's finest moments.
Uncut (p.100) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[A]dventurous, exploring studio electronics and using subtly inventive chord structures."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.115) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his 1975 solo outing is a beautiful record....There are examples of the kind of Southern funk he pioneered with The Meters."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.68) - "There's a warm spacious feel, a great train song...and a few sharp observations about relationships..."