On first listens i was a little disappointed as i'd recently been listening to a Raw Soul compilation i'd got free with a magazine and this album was not quite as upbeat in comparison.
In a few listens time though, i got it... and yes i got it really bad!
There is SO much soul in this record and she means it, she's felt the losing and the pain, unlike so many modern soul artists who's voices are pathetic in comparison.
The opener Respect, is instantly recognisable where she beats Otis (Redding) at his own song and adds her own bit to it too (the R-E-S-P-E-C-T!). The closer too is a cover of Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come, which Otis also covered, however, Aretha's version just had so much more power and feeling than his, the opening "i was bo-or-or-orn by the river" and many other phrases within the song and so memorable for the amount of feeling packed into so few words.
In between these tracks are soulful gems of love and loss. My personal favourite has to be Don't Lose This Dream, it starts deceptively as a polite jazz inflected number but soon Aretha and her backing singers have reached the chorus and blown us away with their unique blend of soul/pop.
The album 'Aretha: Lady Soul' is often raved about but i think personally that this album far supersedes it. It sticks to the same genre throughout rather than flitting all over the place. Its one of those albums you love listening to and when its not on you long to hear it again.
From the opening to the closing note you'll be enthralled. Buy with confidence.