This is Latifah's fifth studio album and her first album as a singer, rather than a rapper. This album showcases yet another string to the Queen's bow and these classics truly shine through her smooth vocals. My favourite tracks are Hard Times, Simply Beutiful (feat. the Rev. Al Green) and Baby Get Lost. Forget the wannabe's, here's a lady that really understands these songs and has some soul!
I LOVE THIS ALBUM. This and Travelin' Light are both great albums. Top production and recording. While the Queen's earlier rap, whilst quite good, especially compared to her contemporaries who are still stuck in the same boring groove, was rather limited and the same sound. This music suits her voice and range perfectly, from the smooth jazz to uplifting soul. She is up there with the great Ella. Even if your not a fan of Queen Latifah, these 2 albums WILL change your mind. I like some jazz but I am not a huge fan it, but when I hear her start singing Poetry Man I just.... ooooo...mmmeeelllt! Marry me your Majesty.
Now that the baby boomers are getting on in life, seems that everyone wants to sing oldies to stir up those old sentiments. Just to be clear on one issue - I'm one of the last gasp boomers, bottom of the group, baby of the bunch, barely a boomer at all, so these songs have absolutely zero emotional value to me. I've never even heard some of them before. Still, when you consider that Queen Latifah (born March 18, 1970,as Dana Elaine Owens)isn't even a boomer herself, you have to admit that she has done a darn fine job on this album. It's hard to believe that the actress/rapper who taught Eugene Levy and Steve Martin hip hop slang, and who has easily stolen the spotlight from many A-listed actors, could have come up with this great album of standards, which even non-boomers will find pleasant listening. Personal picks : California Dreamin', Hello Stranger, The Same Love That Made Me Laugh, and Simply Beautiful - which incidentally is how she looks on the cover shot. An ideal gift for a boomer in your circle. Amanda Richards
Dana's vocals are the best part of this album. Though, the arrangements don't tread any new ground, they do allow her vocal talent to take center stage. Let's hope this is not a one-off project for her singing.