CHAKA KHAN Funk This"
US Burgundy, 2007
1) Back In The Day 2) Foolish Fool 3) One For All Time 4) Angel 5) Will You Love Me? 6) Castles Made Of Sand 7) Disrespectful (with Mary J) Blige) 8) Sign 'O' The Times 9) Pack'd My Bags / You Got The Love (feat Tony Maiden) 10) Ladies Man 11) You Belong To Me (with Michael McDonald)
At last! The beautiful and talented Chaka Khan returns with a proper album of NEW songs on
her new label, Burgundy Records. It's been 9 years since the mighty “Come 2 My House” set and
it has been worth the wait. This set, for me, is one of contrasts. There is something on
here for everyone, and even the kiddiwinks get a track with Mary J. Blige making an
appearance on “Disrespectful”. However, Chaka does a great job on this crashing and banging
late 60s style funky soul affair, and Mary's input is kept to a bare minimum,
which is more than fine by me. In fact, one cannot really tell if she is on it or not,
and is relegated to being a backing support if at all. You will love this song,
so don't ignore it because Miss Bilge makes an appearance! LOL.
For my money, the KILLER has to be “Angel”...one of the best, most passionate ballads that
Chaka has EVER laid down. I love this song to pieces, and again exemplifies that a real singer,
equipped with a real song and supported by real instruments cannot be beaten. The early 80s
feel of “You Belong To Me” is, again, an essential part of this album, and the Zappish
vocoder adds extra spice. The fact that the legendary Michael McDonald shares vocal chores
is but the icing on the cake. What an amazing pairing. Let's hope for an album of new material
from Michael soon.
For lovers of Rufus' funky late 70s sounds, an updated and chunky cuts by the name of
“Hail To The Wrong” and “Super Life” will get the juices flowing. Chaka does nought but
prove yet again that she is still one of the premier female vocalists of our time. The
latter song really has more than a mid 70s funky Stevie Wonder flavour to it thanks '
to some superb guitar arrangements and scratchy guitar. Another winner is the India.Arie-ish
acoustic modern Neo-Soul of “One For All Time” - this will definitely be one to creep
up on you and kybosh you when you least expect it.
I am very pleased with this album,
and am thankful that this great Lady has graced us again with such a set.
This was released stateside on September 25th. Pick up a copy!
- Barry Towler