David Porter parted ways with his songwriting partner Isaac Hayes in 1969 but the pair remained close – close enough that Hayes produced Porter's 1970 debut, Gritty, Groovy, & Gettin' It. A year later, Hayes was busy with his own recording career so Porter turned to his new partner Ronnie Williams to collaborate on 1971's Into a Real Thing, but he hardly left Hayes behind. Isaac's influence is clearly felt on the opening "Hang on Sloopy," a bubblegum AM pop number inexplicably turned into a not-bad soul slow-burner, but the rest of the record finds Porter splicing this new progressive sound with the sound of Stax, tending to dress his tightly constructed songs in vivid, progressive color. Porter dips into lush soul ("Thirty Days") and cinematic funk ("Grocery Man") with enough variety to give this record appealing momentum, meaning that knockout songs are the main thing it lacks: the tunes are well crafted but the revival of Chuck Jackson's "I Don't Want to Cry" shows how the rest of this enjoyable album doesn't grab you by the throat. Ace's 2015 expansion adds three songs from the sessions, including the previously unreleased "Gotta Get Over the Hump" and "Somebody's Trying to Ride Piggy Back," a tune excavated in 1999 that's better than most of the record.
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