Funk This

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
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.
All Music Guide - Andy ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/25/2007
  • Label: Strategic Marketing
  • UPC: 886970902229
  • Catalog Number: 709022

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Back in the Day (4:29)
  2. 2 Foolish Fool (3:47)
  3. 3 One for All Time (4:45)
  4. 4 Angel (4:26)
  5. 5 Will You Love Me? (4:59)
  6. 6 Castles Made of Sand (4:00)
  7. 7 Disrespectful (4:45)
  8. 8 Sign 'O' the Times (5:24)
  9. 9 Pack'd My Bags/You Got the Love (5:55)
  10. 10 Ladies' Man (3:52)
  11. 11 You Belong to Me (3:59)
  12. 12 Hail to the Wrong (3:43)
  13. 13 Super Life (7:33)
  14. 14 [CD-Rom Track]
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chaka Khan Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Bobby Ross Avila Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Drums, Keyboards, Talk Box
Luis Conte Percussion
Andrew Gouche Bass
Doc Powell Guitar
Jimmy Jam Synthesizer, Bass, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Clavinet
Terry Lewis Bass
Tony Maiden Guitar, Background Vocals
James "Big Jim" Wright Keyboards, Background Vocals, Vocal Ad-Libs
Indira Khan Background Vocals
Lauren Evans Background Vocals
Issiah "IZ" Avila Bass, Percussion, Drums, Vocal Ad-Libs
Antoinette Scruggs Background Vocals
Jesse Munro Johnson Guitar
Technical Credits
Joni Mitchell Composer
Carly Simon Composer
Bobby Ross Avila Composer, Producer
Mary J. Blige Composer
Chaka Khan Composer, Liner Notes
Simon Climie Vocal Producer
Bernie Grundman Mastering
Jimi Hendrix Composer
Jimmy Jam Producer, Executive Producer
Terry Lewis Composer, Producer, Executive Producer
Tony Maiden Composer
Doug Rasheed Composer
Ed Townsend Composer
Erwin Gorostiza Art Direction
Ricky Rouse Composer
Timothy Fielding Cover Photo
James "Big Jim" Wright Producer
Chris Feldmann Art Direction
Matt Marrin Engineer
Issiah "IZ" Avila Producer, drum programming
Jesse Munro Johnson Producer
Ian Cross Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Funk This - Decent Outing...Production needs work

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    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?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good to be back!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One Of Her Best!

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Chaka is back

    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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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