Patti LaBelle - Classic Moments (2005)

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    Forty-plus years into her legendary recording career, it is amazing that Patti LaBelle is still so relevant in the world of popular music.  But she delivers the goods so often (most recently with last year's Timeless Journey), wringing out the maximum effect from whatever material she has available, that she is never far from having a memorable hit.  So it seemed a natural fit for a vocal interpreter of her skills to make Classic Moments, an album of classic soul coversSimilar in concept to recent albums by Vanessa Williams and Ray Goodman & Brown, Classic Moments includes generally strong choices from 70s soul (but how did Elton John's "Your Song" get on there?) and LaBelle's voice is as magnificent as ever.  Unfortunately the arrangements on many of the cuts are carbon copies of the great original versi

    Forty-plus years into her legendary recording career, it is amazing that Patti LaBelle is still so relevant in the world of popular music.  But she delivers the goods so often (most recently with last year's Timeless Journey), wringing out the maximum effect from whatever material she has available, that she is never far from having a memorable hit.  So it seemed a natural fit for a vocal interpreter of her skills to make Classic Moments, an album of classic soul coversSimilar in concept to recent albums by Vanessa Williams and Ray Goodman & Brown, Classic Moments includes generally strong choices from 70s soul (but how did Elton John's "Your Song" get on there?) and LaBelle's voice is as magnificent as ever.  Unfortunately the arrangements on many of the cuts are carbon copies of the great original versions, raising the question as to whether they were worth remaking at all.  Fortunately, while covers of former Rose Royce, EWF and Delfonics fall into "why bother?" category, LaBelle rescues the disc on great covers of Aretha's "Ain't No Way," "Love Ballad," "Land of the Living" and Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," resulting in an enjoyable, if not essential, run through classic material by one of popular music's greatest vocalists. 

    by Chris Rizik

     
    Featured Album - ASCENDANT - Illuminate: Yellow
    Choice Cut - Fred Reed - "Tug Of War"