Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Rose Is Still a Rose
Genres: Pop, R&B
Considering her immense contributions to American popular music over the past four decades, the Queen of Soul could be forgiven for coasting a bit. That's why it's such a pleasure to see her turning in such impassioned per... more »
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Considering her immense contributions to American popular music over the past four decades, the Queen of Soul could be forgiven for coasting a bit. That's why it's such a pleasure to see her turning in such impassioned performances on this set of contemporary urban R&B numbers, her strongest and more consistent effort in several years. The poignant title-song teams Aretha with the Fugees' Lauryn Hill (who also produced), while Sean "Puffy" Combs produced and cowrote the percolating "Never Leave You Again." Elsewhere, the album matches the star with state-of-the-art producers Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Daryl Simmons, and Narada Michael Walden, while Franklin wrote and produced the torchy tour de force "The Woman" herself, which closes the album on an emotional high note. --Scott Schinder
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And a Mediocre Album Is Still a Mediocre Album
Reginald D. Garrard | 10/05/1999
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Other than the kind-of, sort-of "hit" title single produced by Lauryn Hill -- which is about the only reason it got the little airplay it did receive -- this is another perfunctory performance by the former Queen of Soul. Granted, she does sound a little better than she has lately -- not as much gravel and hoarseness -- maybe she really did finally give up them cigarettes -- but she's still a far cry far those wonderful mid-sixties and early seventies performances that earned her the title Queen of Soul. Now she's just an faded memory of what she once was and with no fire or excitement. Where's Ted White when you need him?"
...and Aretha is still Aretha!
Peace Brotha | Ohio, United States | 01/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many people have mixed feelings about this album, both hardcore fans and people that just liked the title track. The fact is that this album is a solid example of late '90s R&B, with Aretha in good voice on virtually every cut. Let's look at each one in order...1) The title track, produced by the amazing Lauryn Hill, stands on its own merits. I personally don't feel it's the most comfortable song for 'Ree to sing, but it's a great number nonetheless.2) Never Gonna Leave You Again - mellow and low-key, with a very laid-back beat. Nothing overly special, but pleasant to listen to.3) In Case You Forgot - A typical Aretha song, in the good sense! Strong production values, with a message to her suitor that he should remember how good she's been to him.4) Here We Go Again - watch out Janet: 'Ree sampled Change's "The Glow Of Love" 2 years before you did on this one! Funky little groove, and was a minor hit for Aretha.5) Every Lil' Bit Hurts - Another mainstream R&B number about the heartaches of love. Not bad, but the Queen's voice is a little frayed on some of the higher notes.6) In The Morning - One of my favorites. She made up for not being in top voice on the previous track! Her voice is clear as a bell, with some 1970's notes coming through! Oh yes, and the song itself is good, too... :-)7) I'll Dip - I'll pass. I'm one of the biggest Aretha fans alive, but this song just should not have been recorded. Good beat, but the arrangement is wrong for Aretha and she sounds quite uncomfortable in singing it. When you hear it, you'll see what I mean.8) How Many Times - Very classic radio ballad that Aretha puts her heart into -- and it shows. Solid arrangement that sounds just a little '80's, but this song will stand the test of time. One the albums's best cuts.9) Watch My Back - Again, I love Aretha more than the average fan, but let's face it: she's not 20-something anymore, and she shouldn't use a lot of jargon and slang as though she is. This song is full of this type of thing, some of which you can't even understand. Definitely not up to Ree's standards.10) Love Pang - this song is worth the price of the CD alone! With an outstanding production by Michael J. Powell, Aretha makes you feel how good SHE feels after an intimate night with her lover. Just like the "In The Morning" track, her voice is without peer, and she hits some notes she hadn't come near in years. This cut could have easily come from the "Sparkle" album, if that gives you an idea of the concept of it.11) The Woman - an Aretha-written grand finale that starts out slightly churchy, and ends with a lounge-club feel with 'Ree giving us some scats between her ad-libs. Very, very nice!All right, I'll shut up now. But hopefully, while setting realistic expectations, I've convinced you that this set from the Queen belongs in your collection. Enjoy!"
Hey, guys, this is REE we're talking about....
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 12/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aretha Franklin can do more with one note than most singers can do with a complete aria. So what if it's not up to her best, anything that she does is worthy of at least four stars...and this one doesn't disappoint."