The Reverend Listens To … A Brand New Me : Aretha Franklin
Last month it was announced that Aretha Franklin had died. My first experience of her was on the Blues Brothers sound-track and then the film. Then she was always just there. When I heard she had died I went on a bit of YouTube rabbit hole and heard some of her stuff that amazed me!
I ended up at this video that I share with you now.
Although I’d bought any of her records before I felt it would be appropriate and give me a chance to listen to something on my system. I settled on an album of hers that was backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – A Brand New Me.
A Brand New Me : Aretha Franklin is a great mix of songs. There are a couple of classics (Think, Respect, (You make me feel like) A Natural Woman) however the real gems are a couple of covers. The stand out for me is ‘People Get Ready’ by Curtis Mayfield. It is a favourite song of mine regardless and hearing Aretha sing it gives a whole new dimension. The same could also be said to her version of ‘Let It Be’. Aretha gives her self in every performance and you can hear it in every track.
There is a disappointment in the mixing/editing of the album. At times it does feel over-produced which is such a shame when a voice like Aretha just doesn’t need playing with. I also think that the Royal Philharmonic don’t add anything to any of the songs. I’m sure it was an absolute pleasure to have the oppertunity to ‘build’ the album using previous recordings of Aretha’s singing but it never really feels joined up.
I purchased the vinyl album. This really is how I’m choosing to enjoy my music now. Makes listening more of an active activity rather than a passive one.
From Amazon the Vinyl version of A Brand New Me : Aretha Franklin cost £17.99. A bargain if you ask me!
Final thing from me is another video. I was introduced to this song by Dee Dee Bridgewater so here is Aretha Franklin performing Dr. Feelgood.
You can find a previous Music Review from me here.