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Let's Do It Again
     

Let's Do It Again

by Leela James
 
For adult contemporary R&B fans, it was disheartening that a vocalist as talented as Leela James went almost four years before releasing a follow-up to her flawed but promising debut. Coming into her second album with the knowledge that it is part of the Shanachie label's extensive series of all-covers sets, predominantly the province of artists twice James' age who

Overview

For adult contemporary R&B fans, it was disheartening that a vocalist as talented as Leela James went almost four years before releasing a follow-up to her flawed but promising debut. Coming into her second album with the knowledge that it is part of the Shanachie label's extensive series of all-covers sets, predominantly the province of artists twice James' age who are on album number ten or 20 instead of two, gauging the level of expectations is tricky. On one hand, it is frustrating that James' second album, after all this time, contains no original songs; on the other, it should be a loose, no-fuss affair, less measured than A Change Is Gonna Come and more like James' well-regarded live show. The latter, thankfully, is very much true. James' selections are mostly inspired, containing some natural (if obvious) material -- like the album's bookends, Betty Wright's "Clean Up Woman" and the Staple Singers' "Let's Do It Again" -- and some others that are bound to raise some eyebrows, just from seeing the titles. Womack & Womack's gently swinging "Baby I'm Scared of You" is a highlight, despite the absence of a sparring partner, which lends it a tone that is more serious than the Womacks' typically playful original. Phyllis Hyman's "You Know How to Love Me," perhaps the boldest inclusion (written and recorded when Mtume/Lucas and Hyman were at the peak of their powers), gets a faithful look, proving that James should do free-spirited and uptempo material more often. "I'd Rather Be with You" (Bootsy's Rubber Band) could use more sleaze and Bobby Womack's "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" lacks some necessary unease, and it would have been a nice twist for James to tackle something from the last 25 years, but overall, Let's Do It Again is one of Shanachie's best all-covers discs. May James find a support system that allows her to record albums of new material every other year (or so) from here on out.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/24/2009
Label:
Shanachie
UPC:
0016351577528
catalogNumber:
5775
Rank:
53665

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Leela James   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Rudy Bird   Percussion
Andrea Martin   Background Vocals
Teodross Avery   Saxophone
Melonie Daniels   Background Vocals
Ricardo Ramos   Guitar
Roland Barber   Trombone
Steve "Supe" White   Drums
Ralph "Buttaz" Kearns   Keyboards,Vocals
Kenyatta Beasley   Trumpet
Kenyetta Beasley   Trumpet
Christopher "Rahboo" Sabb   Bass Guitar
Tiffany T'zelle   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Randall Grass   Executive Producer
Suzette Williams   Executive Producer
Leela James   Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production,Vocal Producer
Eric Elterman   Engineer

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