This is a good, solid, Aretha Franklin album that doesn't quite reach the heights of her best work, but which nevertheless still contains some great tracks. Foremost among them is You And Me, written by Aretha herself in the classic mould of such titles as All The King's Horses and Day Dreaming. A beautiful song.Then, of course, you also have Don't Play That Song, and Spirit In The Dark, both of which were hit singles, a great little song called Pullin', and generally very good covers of material as diverse as The Thrill Is Gone and Oh No Not My Baby.
Why only four stars then? Well, for me, only You And Me really stands out as great. Everything else is very good, but not essential. Even so I'd recommend this album, and not just to fans. Just about everything on here is worth hearing. Lots of it is from the sessions for This Girl's In Love With You and seemingly just missed the cut. It confirms what I thought on hearing the double cd Rare & Unreleased - the songs that didn't make it on to her albums, particularly from the period '69 - '74, were better than most of the stuff that did make it onto other artists albums, and were worthy of an album in there own right. In a way, this is what you have here. Even so it's worth the price just for You & Me.