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Aretha Franklin

A Woman Falling Out of Love
Aretha’s Records

Will Hermes May 31, 2011
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The good news is that Aretha Franklin, who just turned 69, is recording, and that her magnificent instrument, though thinning a bit, retains plenty of its power and agility. She’s calling her own shots here, as executive producer, head of her own label and, on numerous tracks, producer and/or songwriter. There are magic moments: the vocal fireworks capping a cover of BB King’s ”˜Sweet Sixteen,’ and the playful Seventies-style soul-jazz jammy ”˜U Can’t See Me.’ But unmemorable songs and overcooked arrangements suggest too many opportunities squandered. Here’s hoping the Roots, T Bone Burnett and Rick Rubin all submit producer applications for Her Majesty’s next outing.

Key Tracks: ”˜Sweet Sixteen,’ ”˜U Can’t See Me’

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