She is Aretha. And that is all I really need to say.
I mean, it’s all in the songs, isn’t it?
The Queen of Soul, the voice, the MAJESTY.
Just think about it.
“Respect”. I mean, just this song would make this record a masterpiece, as it’s a force of nature, not a mere pop single. No, it’s tenacious, it’s spirited, and it’s unforgettable.
The title track, a soulful wail about love and hate and all the colours in between.
The Queen’s vocal on “Dr. Feelgood” remains the moment where I realized as fantastic as Motown was, Atlantic was better, and Muscle Shoals was soul heaven.
And of course, Sam Cooke sang this, it was his song, but Aretha was just as convinced by it as Sam was, and almost touches his own vocal. It’s a coin toss on any given day which version I prefer. It comes out about fifty-fifty.
Honestly, this record should be owned by EVERYONE. If you don’t have it, you are poorer for it. This is what soul music should sound like.