Gregor von Kallahann | 11/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another reviewer referred to Aretha's "mellow voice" on this album, and I have to admit that is the Aretha I have come to prefer. It's hard to ignore the fact that in recent years (and there were signs even in the 80s) that vocal wear and tear (and those Kool cigarettes too, I guess) had taken their toll. I thought such 80s tracks as "Jumpin' Jack Flash" suffered from vocal overkill--and vocal strain. So I was surprised to pick up on this 80s release and discover that, when she chose to keep in "mellow," she was in excellent voice.
There are doubtless Aretha fans who don't like to see the "Queen of Soul" in the "Disco Diva" mold we find her in on several tracks here, including the title tune. But Aretha sounds so relaxed and playful on these tracks, scatting away on "Jump to It" like she's Ella reincarnate, it's hard not to fall in love with them. The urban soul stylings of the slower tempo numbers are also pretty yummy, although in terms of tunefulness, there's nothing quite as compelling as, say, "Until You Come Back to Me," to cite an example of a mellow track from an earlier era.
Still it's great to see that she was in good voice in the 80s after all. That's the thing about singers--you should never writer them off because of one or two performances that you thought were weak. They nearly always come back to surprise you. And Aretha Franklin has always been a singer who is full of surprises."
M. Edwards | Buckinghamshire United Kingdom | 04/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1982, Ms Franklin hooked up with Mr Soul himself, Luther Vandross, for a 2 album deal, the first instalment being "Jump to It". With legendary bassist Marcus Miller providing the rhythm section, Luther's Midas touch as producer, and Aretha on form vocally, the result was an awesome album that has stood the test of time.
The album kicks off with the catchy title track - just listen to those vocals! It doesn't get better than this. Aretha sounds alive!
Luther's vocal intro to "Love Me Right" (a low-down, funky ditty) is great and it blends well with Aretha's. The middle tracks are easy, but the outstanding cut has to be "It's Your Thing". Can Marcus play a sweet bass line or what? Listening to Aretha here puts chills down my spine - the track opens and closes in spectacular style.
There's not a duff track here, just 8 gems. This is an entertaining album and proof that the Queen of Soul hadn't lost her touch.