Funk This

Funk This

4.0 5
by Chaka Khan
     
 

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Chaka Khan returns to her funk and vintage soul roots with Funk This. The disc includes the breathtaking ballad "Angel" and the yearning, mid-tempo "Will You Love Me?" The soul siren also puts her twist on Prince's "Sign o' the Times" (returning the favor after she made his "I Feel For You" an '80s classic), Joni Mitchell's "Ladies Man," and Jimi Hendrix's

Overview

Chaka Khan returns to her funk and vintage soul roots with Funk This. The disc includes the breathtaking ballad "Angel" and the yearning, mid-tempo "Will You Love Me?" The soul siren also puts her twist on Prince's "Sign o' the Times" (returning the favor after she made his "I Feel For You" an '80s classic), Joni Mitchell's "Ladies Man," and Jimi Hendrix's "Castles Made of Sand" and does a medley of two songs she originally recorded with Rufus -- "Pack'd My Bags" and "You Got the Love." Other standouts include her cover of "You Belong to Me" with Michael McDonald and the fiery "Disrespectful," written by and sung with Mary J. Blige.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
Three years on from Chaka Khan's recording of Classikhan with the London Symphony Orchestra, Funk This is likewise heavy on fresh looks at some of Khan's favorite songs, but its sources involve the likes of Jimi and Joni instead of Leiber & Stoller. Recorded with a core of Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Bobby Ross Avila, with guest contributions from Mary J. Blige, Michael McDonald, and Rufus guitarist Tony Maiden, Funk This sounds like much of it was recorded live, giving it a loose, not-fussed-over sound, though there are some questionable moves -- like the favoring of a smoothed-out synth over a crunching guitar riff during Rufus' "You Got the Love," or the use of a talk box on McDonald's "You Belong to Me." The covers do work more often than not, highlighted by Prince's "Sign 'O' the Times" and Joni Mitchell's "Ladies Man" (an unlikely but very smart choice). There's a handful of new songs, including the nostalgic "Back in the Day," where Chaka looks back to when she was known as Yvette Stevens, and the fast and furious "Disrespectful" -- where Jam and Lewis try to capture some of Rich Harrison's breakbeat-heavy "Crazy in Love"/"1 Thing" magic -- but the one that sticks out most is "Hail to the Wrong," which could be mistaken for a new version of an excellent album cut from 1980's Naughty or 1981's What Cha' Gonna Do for Me. Chaka sounds mostly excellent from track to track, especially during the more relaxed moments.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2007
Label:
Strategic Marketing
UPC:
0886970902229
catalogNumber:
709022

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Funk This 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love me some Chaka Khan like cornbread loves butter. She is as smoothe as silk and funky as she wanna be. The lady is a rare breed of musician whose music will be here for eternity. You did again Chaka. Blessings and Joy. Veronica
Guest More than 1 year ago
On Funk This, Chaka Khan returns back to the contemporary r&b music scene. The release opens with “Back In The Day” , a mid-tempo Rufus sounding funk jam. The release also highlight’s a couple of nice ballads and mid-tempo tunes by the quintessential funk diva. Three of the release’s other funk highlights are: the melodic” One For All Time” , the upbeat “Super Life“, and the raw, pounding, and raunchy funk of “Disrespectful” (featuring Mary J. Blige). Covers of tunes by Prince, Carly Simon, Rufus, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix help even things out nicely. Chaka Khan is a timeless talent, and with the top notch producing talents of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, she delivers another must have release with Funk This. By Roosevelt G.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great "soulful" CD of Chaka with the flavor of old school funk! I remember the 80's like it was yesterday. I really like this CD, especially because it was produced by two of my favorite producers "Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis". Whenever they get their creative minds working together, it's bound to be a top hit!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this cd. When I heard Chaka Khan had a new cd, I was very excited and bought it without any hesitation. I have given it several "listens" and I still don't think it is very good. The other reviews I read said it was very good, so I have to ask "huh?" - are we listening to the same cd?
Reading63 More than 1 year ago
Funk This was a good reintroduction of Chaka Khan to the maintstream R&B and Funk audience. Since Chaka had been away for a number of years, hearing her on this disc reminded me of her very first Rufus disc, where you got the impression that Chaka had a wealth of talent, but the musical arrangements did little to draw you in, they way they later did on subsequent Rufus albums like 'Rufusized' or 'Ask Rufus'. The overall feel of 'Funk This' is consistent and modern, but not as memorable or interesting as 'Chaka Khan ' (1982) or 'I Feel For You' (1984), both of which I could play and get immense pleasure from today. Chaka has proven that she's a versatile artist, of breadth and depth, who really shines when challenged with different musical settings and colors. She didn't really get much of either on 'Funk This', thanks in large part to her production team, Jam and Lewis. I like the idea of sprinking solid cover tunes in the mix of currents, and they all seemed to add musical structure to the disc that would otherwise be lacking. My favorite track on the CD is 'Ladies Man', a Joni Mitchell cover and Chaka 'melt down', where Chaka's nuanced singing style soaks up the essence of this gem irresistably. 'Back In The Day' has potential, as a chunky funk with a good vibe. However, The bass is mixed too loud, relative to the other instruments in the track, and Chaka's enunciation is such that the lyrics are somewhat indecipherable. Better attention to the mix/production could have fixed this. My least favorite tracks are the Rufus revisited tracks 'Pack'd My Bags' and 'You Got The Love'. Clearly, Chaka's smoky pipes have aged considerably since her heyday with Rufus, but we didn't need to be reminded in such a blatant way, with no sweeteners to take away the gravel of age. Again, the mix and fadeouts on each of these tracks left a lot to be desired. Other tracks of note: 'One For All Time' and the stripped down and passionate reading of 'Angel'. I'd love to hear Chaka enlist a mix of current producers to create an 'I Feel For You' (2010). Those I have in mind are Salaam Remi (Jazmine Sullivan), Mark Batson (Anthony Hamilton), Rex Rideout (Lalah Hathaway), Basement Jaxx (Super Dance)...and maybe a track or two from Jam and Lewis. Why not throw in the classic reggae producers Sly and Robbie, as well. I hope 'Funk This' is but a precursor of a still vital and relevant Chaka to come. She's still a force to be reckoned with!