Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Jewels In The Crown: Duets With The Queen Of Soul
Genres: Pop, R&B
Browse the assembled talent on this disc and you're bound to be wowed by the bold names--Hello, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, and Elton John--but anyone who's been listening to the Queen of Soul long enough knows even fell... more »
Browse the assembled talent on this disc and you're bound to be wowed by the bold names--Hello, Frank Sinatra, George Benson, and Elton John--but anyone who's been listening to the Queen of Soul long enough knows even fellow legends often have cause to feel humbled in her presence. And it's interesting, but the duets collected here tend to work in inverse proportion to the fame of the collaborator: "Hello My Love" with Sinatra is so-so, though it's certainly not for lack of effort by the always-on Aretha, while "Put You Up on Game" with American Idol's Fantasia comes as a revelation; Fantasia could have been all crack-voiced and quaking in her spike-heeled ankle boots, but she proves up to the challenge. If the heavy hitters were cowed by the Queen's supremacy and it shows (it does), it's worth remembering that a lot of the recycled tracks here--the ones you'll most likely buy the record for, including the exceptional "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" with the Eurythmics and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" with George Michael--more than make up for it. Also, three new duets--the one with Fantasia, plus one with John Legend, and one with Mary J. Blige--prove Aretha's becoming more selective with her singing partners. You might have expected at least one of them to stumble, but none does. The older Aretha gets, it seems, the less room she has on her chain of fools. --Tammy La Gorce
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Member CD Reviews
Michael D. (dan6907) from WASHINGTON, DC
Reviewed on 7/25/2014...
Excellent CD, one of The Queen's finest.
Queen of Soul cleanin' house
R. M. Desjardins | Vancouver, B.C. Canada | 11/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aretha Franklin's "Jewels in the Crown" marks her exit from Arista Records. Although it may be argued that this recording is merely a "contractual obligation" two new duets, with Fantasia and John Legend make it of great interest to Aretha's fans. The Queen gets down and has some fun! As well, it's great to have material spanning 1981 to 1999 on one convenient disc. A personal disappointment is that Aretha's televised duet with the late Lou Rawls, "At Last" was omitted.
In a November 4th full page feature in the New York Times Aretha stated "You might as well say it's over" in reference to her tenure at Arista Records. Clive Davis however is of another opinion. "The lawyers say there are cuts owed. I don't know that for a fact, I have not gotten into that. She and I, we've had a long relationship."
One thing is for sure. This recording paves the way for Aretha's upcoming recording "Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love" due in the spring of 2008, which will feature songs she wrote and produced herself rather than the established hit makers assigned her during her contract with Arista. In fact, Aretha is apparently so pumped about her new material that during a recent Christmas promotional appearance in Toronto where she was contracted to perform four songs on an outdoor stage, she thrilled the audience with a preview cut "How Long I've Been Waiting" from her upcoming album. Aretha, resplendid in a full length mink coat, sipped on a cup of tea to keep warm, as she played the piano.
"Jewels In The Crown" is a reminder of the places the Queen has transported us to and serves as a roadmap to where she wants to take us next. Long live the Queen!"
2 Words... Regurgitated Content ... Right down to the cover
MA Reviewer | Boston, MA | 12/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong, I love Aretha! However, when an Artist of this stature allows an album to be billed as "new" when it has over 90% regurgitated content on it and it's not considered a "Greatest Hits" album, smells fishy to me and seems to be a little deceptive. Even the cover photo is regurgitated from the Rose Is Still A Rose album.
If you're going to do a duets album and call it "new," then I would think the Queen should have gone into the studio and sung some new duets/covers of her old hits over and above the 2 new ones included on this effort.
This seems to be a trend that the executives of the record companies have thought up to make more money. They got a taste of how well a "duets" themed album could do with the 2 albums Frank Sinatra put out back in the 90's... and they saw dollar signs!
The big difference between this album when compared to Sinatra's Duet album is that Sinatra re-recorded his hits with other artists (kinda ironic that both Aretha sang on the first Sinatra duet album.....). Even though Sinatra did not get together with the artists in the same studio for the actual recording, it was still an event in the making and was a great album!
Perhaps record companies think that consumers are so gullible and ravenous for anything new from an Artist like Aretha that they can get away with this... It's just one more example, in my opinion, of how seriously out of touch record companies are with today's music consumers who only want to pay for the songs they like, or either don't have in their collection yet.
I would have loved nothing better than to see Aretha go into the studio and do exactly what Sinatra did for this release. Nothing would have made me happier than to see her get together with Mariah Carey to perform a proper duet. To call her singing with Mariah of "Chain of Fools" from the VH1 Divas Concert a "duet" is a pretty big stretch if you ask me. If this had been done in the studio it probably would have been amazing.
Still, I love the duets on the collection and I guess if you don't own this material through another previous release, then I can see the merit in wanting to purchase it. So for that and that alone, I give it 3 stars."