Search - Queen Latifah :: The Dana Owens Album

The Dana Owens Album
Queen Latifah
The Dana Owens Album
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

"...a collection of timeless classics chosen and covered by the Queen herself"

      
   

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CD Details

All Artists: Queen Latifah
Title: The Dana Owens Album
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 4
Label: Interscope Records
Release Date: 9/28/2004
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Vocal Jazz, Adult Contemporary, Vocal Pop, East Coast, Old School, Pop Rap, Contemporary R&B, Cabaret
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 602498637760

Synopsis

Album Description
"...a collection of timeless classics chosen and covered by the Queen herself"

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Member CD Reviews

Lynne S. from DEKALB, IL
Reviewed on 1/11/2010...
She can sing!
Christy S. (soupermom) from LINCOLN, NE
Reviewed on 12/27/2009...
Love, love, love this CD. I wish she would make another like it. You have not heard the Queen until you have this CD.
Jennifer L. (loyallioness) from JACKSONVILLE, FL
Reviewed on 2/20/2009...
track #4 is a great west coast swing and tract #7 a beautiful rumba
Bonnie C. (frugalmama) from LAKEVILLE, MA
Reviewed on 4/14/2007...
One of my favorite CD's. Can listen to this anytime... great for background music or crank it and dance to the beat!

CD Reviews

Dana Owens shines....but she's still holding back.
S. Sittig | Washington, D.C. | 09/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"We all know her as Queen Latifah, but despite forging an amazing career as a Rap/Hip-Hop Artist and an acclaimed TV and Film actress (even garnering an Oscar nom for her spirited work in the film version of CHICAGO), it seems Latifah (aka Dana Owens, her birth name, which she uses on this album) has been hiding another one of her many talents--a rich velvety, nuanced voice perfect for singing jazz standards and various eclectic gems from the Great American Songbook.

To be honest she had shown us a glimpse of this talent-for those of us who were paying attention-when she crooned a stunning version of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" for the soundtrack of the underrated Holly Hunter vehicle LIVING OUT LOUD. Not surprisingly, Owens also did a remarkable job of co-starring in that film, supporting Hunter with an expertise not shown by most artists of her generation.

Is there anything Owens can't do?

Well, before getting too carried away with exultant praise for this wonderful lady, let me just say that she isn't 100% successful on this, her first full out jazz/r&b/soul album.

Owens is definitely a gifted song interpreter (no doubt her acting experience comes in handy on this set), and she uses it to great effect on remakes of such classics as "Baby Get Lost", "California Dreamin'", "Hello Stranger", "Close Your Eyes" and the aformentioned "Lush Life" (which is still the strongest song of this new set). But she also shows her r&b/soul roots on mellow, "quiet storm" styled tracks like the sensual "Simply Beautiful", the raucous "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and "The Same Love That Made Me Laugh".

There's nothing inherently wrong with Owens' delivery. While not gifted with the largest range in the biz, she definitely knows how to play with the highs (a soft higher range that is pleasing to the ear) and she definitely excels at the guttural lows we know her for so well.

The problem is that sometimes the production works against her. It's hard to put my finger exactly on what about the production doesn't click, but there is almost too much of a smooth sheen on the material, to much of an MOR patina, that isn't natural to Owens' nature. We want her to sing dirtier...to be more Pearl Bailey and less Nancy Wilson, more Eartha Kitt and less Dinah Washington and yet the production keeps reigning her in, when you sense she really wants to break loose and be wild.

There's a strength behind Owens' voice, an almost masculine intensity, that paired with her feminine sweetness could have made for quite an emotional range with the proper production and perhaps a more risky song selection, but instead her tougher side is harnessed and sometimes you want it to run free...like she did so successfully with "When You're Good To Mama" in the film version of CHICAGO. What Owens does best is play in that space between raunchy and classy, and this CD tries too desperately to push her into the "classy" arena of supper clubs and mellow singers chirping over the chink of champagne glasses. In the process, the production somewhat muzzles the bite that the Queen could otherwise have.

Definitely a strong effort, but I look forward to a more edgy set for her 2nd outing in this arena. But you've got to give the Lady credit for trying something new. While most artists of her generation are content doing the same thing over and over, it's nice to see the Queen take a well calculated risk."
Oh, Dana! Graceful, upbeat and strong--WOW!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 10/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The moment I finished listening to this CD, my knee-jerk reaction was simple: MORE! Queen Latifah proves she is as comfortable performing classic songs as she is doing rap. Her fans knew her talents as a rap artist; it is no surprise that she can pull this switch into more classic tunes without a hitch. (After all, she sang wonderfully in the movie Chicago without a rap format.)

Her voice is strong, sensuous, and just plain wonderful to listen to. Al Green also joins her in singing "Simply Beautiful," a song Green himself wrote.

The selected songs combine to form a very strong, unified set that is ecstasy to listen to the way you want to, maybe just relaxing or perhaps with a glass of fine wine. The quality of the music is excellent and the cover photo of Dana is beautiful. You don't get lyrics to the songs but the credits are there.

In short, BUY THIS CD! You won't be sorry! GRIN
"