back in stock otis redding's the soul album is remarkably consistent, with every single song creating a foothold in your southern soul collection. otis is equally convincing on his originals ("any ole way," "just one more day,") as his is on his trademark re-works of soul and rock classics ("634-5789," "chain gang"). my personal favourite tracks are the beautiful "good to me," the red-eyed 2 am plea of "cigarettes and coffee," and the bluesy and bouncy "scratch my back," which is the most fun you can have this side of "fa-fa-fa-fa-fa (sad song)." the soul album gets stronger and stronger as the album plays on, and the second side of this album (i own the cd, but the tracklisting is still broken down to a side one and a side two) just may be one of the strongest sides of any otis album, which is saying a lot. otis redding albums are hard to review. how many times can i use the words "brilliant," "one-of-a-kind," "amazing," etc, until they lose all meaning? the soul album is an absolute gem in the otis redding collection, and i'll leave it at that.