""Good Woman" was Gladys's 3rd solo album. Unlike the two earlier efforts (from 1978 and '79 respectively), this release was more elaborate, carefully crafted and successful. Gladys, working primarily with little known producers like Zane Giles and D.C. Wilson, co-wrote and co-produced much of the record. It reached #1 on Billboard magazine's R&B album charts and produced the #2 R&B single "Men". Cuts like "Meet Me In The Middle", "Gimme A Chance" and the aforementioned "Men" court the 'new jack swing' sound which was popular at the time. Knight, proving the timelessness of her style, is at home with the busy beats and skittering production flourishes. The ballads do not work as well. Hitmaker Michael Powell provides "Where Would I Be". This languid number might have suited someone like Anita Baker, but it doesn't play to Gladys's declamatory strengths. The lyric to "Superwoman" (a massive hit previously for Karyn White) couldn't be more appropriate for Knight's persona and steel-belted sound, but the vocal rearrangement (to accomodate appearances from Dionne Warwick and Patti Labelle) sabotages the song's momentum. I think Gladys would've handled it better as a solo. "Mr. Love" is a slow number co-written by Gladys that is a cut above. It has a strong melody that Gladys, with what has been called her 'minamilist style', invests with weighty conviction."
GREAT VOICE...mediocre stuff...
fabio-italy | milan, italy | 11/27/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Gladys Knight is one of the most controversial artists to me.
She probably has one of the best voices in R'n'B.
She could easily be a winner, and yet...yet the A&R staff must be not working properly for her.
Why in the world she does not get good songs and good production?
This album boasts as a # 1, the opening track (MEN) blows you away, her rendition of Karyn White's SUPERWOMAN (wonderfully sang as a trio along with Patti LaBelle and Dionne Warwick) is moving to the point and she also steps in the hip hop arena with the Salt'n'Pepa back ups on MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE.
And you can't complain about the soulful side too.
WAITING ON YOU and IN THIS LIFE are good ballads.
Yet this album misses a real hit or some solid production.
But you can forgive her (almost) everything with a voice like that!"
A Legend With A Premiere Outing
AJ Campbell-Vordeaux | 05/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Miss Knight showed the world in 91 with her first album for MCA and proved that she can start her solo career without her Pips and she succeeds. Using Attala Zane Giles (Vesta's producer) to craft her an album that would push her to the adult contemporary field without sounding trite. Other producers were used as well and they made a bonafide star. Using backing vocalese of Vesta Williams, Alfie Silas, Vonceile Faggett, Patti LaBelle, Dionne Warwick, Alex Brown and a slew of others, they helped her succeed to being a staying force in this crazy business. Songs like Men, Meet Me In The Middle, Where Would I Be, If You Only Knew were cream top confections. Great Job Girl! Grade: A++++++"
A Strong Solo cd
G. Carter | Temple Hills, maryland United States | 06/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gladys Knight who is the The First Lady Of Soul..recorded this cd after she and Pips decided to go their separate ways.. the first single "Men" went straight to #1 on the R&B charts. A good mixture of Ballads and Uptempo dance tracks made this a strong third solo cd from Ms.Gladys!!"
A good producer understands his star!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I've said before, when a singer is saddled with a producer that knows the talent, he/she can make something wonderful. That is the case of Gladys Knight's "Men", an album that features five tracks produced by Attila Zane Giles ("Men," "Good Woman," "Mr. Love," "Waiting on You," and "If You Only Know"), two by D.C. ("Meet Me in the Middle" and "Give Me a Chance"), two by Michael J. Powell ("Superwoman" and "Where Would I Be"), one each by Howie Rice ("This is Love") and Barry Mann ("In this Life").
With four distinctive talents helming the various songs, it might seem a bit crowded. However, each of the craftsmen respect and know how to fit songs around such a legendary voice as Ms. Knight. Backed by some of the best musicians around (David Peaston, Gerald Albright, Greg Phillinganes, Vesta, Dionne Warwick, Patti Labelle, Nathan East, and brother Bubba), Knight is definitely comfortable with each of the varied tunes that run from New Jack Swing to romantic ballads to the inspirational.
A lesser artist would be overshadowed by the production, but Knight has been around too long to be intimidated by anyone.
Her five-decade longevity proves that even a fourteen-year-old album can still punch as big a kick as it did when it was released in 1991.