Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hey Now Hey
Genres: Pop, R&B
A re-issue of her 1973 album long deleted in the States. Hey Now Hey finds the Queen of Soul taking her untouchably powerful set of pipes somewhat left field of the straight-ahead Atlantic groove formula of the late '60s. ... more »
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A re-issue of her 1973 album long deleted in the States. Hey Now Hey finds the Queen of Soul taking her untouchably powerful set of pipes somewhat left field of the straight-ahead Atlantic groove formula of the late '60s. This is not to suggest that the record is neither soulful nor funky. On the contrary, it is both. But, from the ambiguous, trippy cover art to the lush, Quincy Jones string arrangements within, it is clear that Hey Now Hey is also not the usual collection of Franklin singles. Working closely with Jones, and taking cues from the extended, elaborate, and visionary works of other soul music contemporaries-especially Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye, Franklin fuses elements of blues, jazz, and church music, winding the album together with superior production and an almost psychedelic orchestral finesse. Included among the originals are fresh readings of Bobby Womack's 'That's The Way I Feel About You' and 'Somewhere' from West Side Story. In all, Hey Now Hey is a unique and noteworthy addition to the Franklin catalog. Warner. 2005.
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Conceptually flawed but "Hey Now Hey" is still a winner
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Hey Now Hey (The Other Side Of The Sky)" may be the most misunderstood Aretha Franklin album of all time. Panned by critics for its eclecticism and lack of focus, HNH was produced by Quincy Jones and Aretha's first album for Atlantic that was not produced by Jerry Wexler. Coming off a string of ten outstanding Wexler-produced albums - "I Never Loved A Man" and "Lady Soul" were what you would call landmark albums - HNH was a bit of a disappointment. The concept of marrying Aretha's deep soul with Quincy's musical genius may have worked on paper, but the execution fell short for reasons that had nothing to do with Aretha. Vocally, she was in peak form and obviously still delivering. The clue to HNH's shortcomings may be found in David Nathan's excellent sleeve notes. It appears that HNH was originally conceived as an all-out jazz experiment for Aretha with Quincy producing at the helm but when Atlantic lost its nerve midway through the project and decided to include some more pop/soul oriented material in the album to avert the risk of potential commercial disaster, that's when the problems started. It's a shame, because cut for cut, the album is with a few exceptions difficult to fault. Collectively, the pop/soul oriented tracks are neither better nor worse than the jazz ones, just different.HNH is worth buying just for "Angel" alone. Composed by her sister Carolyn, "Angel" is possibly the most beautiful ballad Aretha has ever recorded in her entire career. Another highlight is the Esther Phillips' inspired "Sister From Texas", a percussively cooking and bluesy soul number given a full workout treatment by Aretha. The title track is also mysterious and interesting. Using an unusual two coda song structure, there is even a hint of 70s drugs culture ("on the other side of the sky") in the lyrics and it works. "So Swell When You're Well" chugs along nicely but is unexceptional. "Mister Spain" has a moody charm about it, but "That's How I Feel About 'Cha" is a mess. Not much of a song in the first place, it is little more than an excuse for Aretha to show off while practicing her scales. The album's grand opus, Bernstein/Sondheim's "Somewhere", given a jazzy treatment with piano breaks midsong is an inventive if not altogether successful arrangement. The producer/arranger may have gone overboard on that one.The two pure jazz tracks which close HNH (ie, not counting the excellent "Master Of Eyes" which is included as a bonus track) is impressive for Aretha's amazing vocalising but otherwise belong elsewhere with the other completed jazz tracks still sitting in Atlantic's vault.So, what started out as a jazz album ended up only one quarter a jazz album, half a conventional pop/soul album and a quarter of a fusion album. Blame it on Atlantic if you must for the mishmash and occasional misstep but Aretha vocally more than measures up against her glorious legacy preceding this most misunderstood release. Me ? I love it."
Aretha's Tour de Force
sonjam | Irving, Tx United States | 08/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my humble opinion, this lp stands as Aretha's singular greatest acheivement, the moment when she advanced light years from what was at the time the reliable hit machine she, Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin had evolved into. No female before her had created a song cycle as esoteric as this one. She seems to be speaking directly to her demons in a way I don't think her audience was willing to comprehend. Very similar in many respects to Marvin Gaye's "Here My Dear" though not as literal.
That the project was deemed a failure, almost assures it's place as a cult favorite among Aretha fans. Listening to the album in it's entirety, I think that Aretha was purging herself of the some of the pressures surrounding her at the time. There is a joy inside the melancholy of her singing. I don't know, it just feels cathartic at the end.
QJ's production doesn't overwhelm as it tended to with his later projects. Aretha gets lots of room to just sing.
And we're all the richer for it.
She'd return to a career making coda with "Let Me In Your Life" but this lp shows us her willingness to push the limits of r&b/pop/jazz and broadway to their extremes.
Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of Aretha!)
daBrat | San Francisco, Ca USA | 12/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am sooOOOoooo glad to be reading positive reviews of this album, especially since it is one of the most difficult Aretha Franklin albums to aquire. And I agree, it is also Aretha's finest, most introspective work to date. When it was first released, I did not understand why it didn't top the charts, as I did not understand the commercial whoring of the industry yet. All I knew is that I had discovered soul, and was enveloped by it's messenger. Buy this album, and hear what true artistic nirvana is."