All about The Voice
Peace Brotha | Ohio, United States | 10/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the prior reviewers was right on point when mentioning that this set is all about The Voice.
ARETHA IN PARIS has gotten bad press from day one because of the band. Granted, they are not the best and they are downright wretched in a few spots. They are wooden and not the best fit at all for Aretha's approach to music and her style of singing.
Aretha's talent -- especially in 1968 -- was (and is) bright enough to overcome a band not being what they should be. Aretha's fire, emotion, and the quality of The Voice makes this album a keeper. I think this version of Soul Serenade outdoes the studio take. Her vocal acrobatics and timing are amazing and always artistic .. not this overdone mess that passes for "sanging" nowadays.
The pace of the album is frenetic too, something else that has drawn criticism. Many of the uptempo songs are a notch or two faster than the originals. Well, I'm here to tell you that until the past 10 years or so Aretha always did that in concert. Is Ree "rushing" through the cuts or did she just add a little espresso to them? I guess each person would have to answer that for themselves. But in my opinion, it's just yet another reflection of her gospel roots, and I love the breakneck pace of Respect, Come Back Baby, and others.
As usual, when Aretha decides to accompany herself on piano ... watch out. She does so on a few songs here, including the staple Dr. Feelgood.
Subpar band aside, ARETHA IN PARIS is worth the time and money just to hear what is arguably the greatest voice of our lifetime."
J. Brady | PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC United States | 05/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Aretha's backing band on this live disc is dreadful. Out of time, out of tune, and quite sloppy. But that VOICE ! She sounds superb. The only flub is at the begining of "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream" where she comes in kinda late with a spoken intro. But she absolutely nails the songs from her first few albums. I especially love the opening number "Satisfaction" , the Rolling Stones song is given the Aretha Treatment, with the Sweet Inspirations offering back up in a call and response style. While the band sounds better on her Live at the Fillmore set, this is a worthwhile effort, if you like her early Atlantic work. ( The only reason I dock this one point is because of the band. )"