Open Book

Open Book

by Evelyn "Champagne" King
     
 
Whenever there is some type of event where the DJ is spinning old-school soul, funk, and disco -- an event that could be taking place anywhere from Cherry Hill, NJ to Newcastle, England -- one question that inevitably comes up a lot is "Whatever happened to?" You know, whatever happened to McFadden & Whitehead (sadly, both died in

Overview

Whenever there is some type of event where the DJ is spinning old-school soul, funk, and disco -- an event that could be taking place anywhere from Cherry Hill, NJ to Newcastle, England -- one question that inevitably comes up a lot is "Whatever happened to?" You know, whatever happened to McFadden & Whitehead (sadly, both died in the 2000s), or whatever happened to Teena Marie? ("Lady T" came out with an album called Sapphire in 2006.) And if the DJ is playing crowd-pleasers like 1977's "Shame" or 1982's "Love Come Down," someone inevitably wonders what Evelyn "Champagne" King has been up to. King flew under the radar in the '90s and early 2000s, but admirers of the Bronx native's '70s and '80s hits will be glad to know that she is in generally good form on her 2007 comeback album Open Book. King, who turned 47 on July 1, 2007, hasn't lost anything in terms of vocal power -- and she has respectable material to work with on a CD that, for the most part, successfully balances 2007 considerations and old-school R&B considerations. The album's most overtly 2007-sounding track is the single "Skillz," which is very much in the hip-hop-minded Mary J. Blige/Beyoncé Knowles/Olivia vein. "Skillz" tries a little too hard to be relevant to 2007 tastes and ends up sounding a bit forced, but even so, the tune is catchy. Most of the time, however, Open Book achieves a more organic and natural-sounding balance of the classic and the contemporary (by 2007 standards), and that approach serves King well whether she is embracing a quiet storm groove on the laid-back "Whole Lotta Yum Yum," getting into dance diva mode on "The Dance" (which house fans will definitely appreciate) or favoring an urban/adult contemporary blend on the title song (an introspective ballad). Although not in a class with essential gems like 1977's Smooth Talk, 1981's I'm in Love, and 1982's Get Loose, Open Book is a generally pleasing and respectable return to the studio for the veteran singer.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2008
Label:
Thump Records
UPC:
0802631100520
catalogNumber:
311005
Rank:
232726

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Evelyn "Champagne" King   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Larry Graham   Bass
Val Young   Background Vocals
Terry Adams   Cello
Alex Al   Bass
Eamonn Flynn   Piano
Freddie Fox   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Soloist
Preston Glass   Guitar,Keyboards
Joel Jaffe   Keyboards
Kathy Marshall   Violin
Jean McClain   Background Vocals
ELaine Gibbs   Background Vocals
Shannon Pearson   Background Vocals
Tim Carmen   Organ,Keyboards,Clavinet
Silver Turtle   Rap
Terry Adams   Cello
Neice Knight Preuitt   Background Vocals
Lisa Fraiser   Background Vocals
Kathy Marshall   Violin
Judith Hill   Background Vocals
Bambie Jones   Background Vocals
Meg Tichener   Violin
Gemia August   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Billy Griffin   Composer
John Barnes   Composer
Freddie Fox   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements,Audio Production,Instrumentation
Preston Glass   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Audio Production,Instrumentation
Tony Haynes   Composer
Jerry Hey   Horn Arrangements
Joel Jaffe   Producer
Evelyn "Champagne" King   Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Audio Production
Narada Michael Walden   Composer
Cindy Mizelle   Composer
Don Tittle   Engineer
Christopher Troy   keyboard arrangements
Richard "Hock" Walsh   Arranger
Tom Cartwright   Executive Producer
Edward B. McClary   String Contractor
Dale Voelker   Art Direction
Silver Turtle   Composer
Michael Kashif Jones   Composer

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