Aretha Franklin – Jewels In The Crown: All-Star Duets With The Queen (2007)

Aretha Franklin - Jewels In The Crown: All-Star Duets With The Queen (2007)
Artist: Aretha Franklin
Album: Jewels In The Crown: All-Star Duets With The Queen
Genre: Soul/R&B
Label: BMG Japan
Released: 2007
Quality: APE (image+.cue)
Tracklist:
Jumpin’ Jack Flash (with Keith Richards) – 05:08
Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves (with Eurythmics) – 05:55
I Knew You Were Waiting [For Me] (with George Michael) – 04:03
What Now My Love (with Frank Sinatra) – 03:16
Put You Up On Game (with Fantasia) – 04:16
What Y’All Came To Do (with John Legend) – 03:17
Never Gonna Break My Faith (with Mary J. Blige feat. the Harlem Boys Choir) – 04:17
Through The Storm (with Elton John) – 04:26
It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Ever Gonna Be (with Whitney Houston) – 04:52
[You Make Me Feel Like] A Natural Woman (with Bonnie Raitt and Gloria Estefan) – 04:40
Doctor’s Orders (with Luther Vandross) – 04:34
Ever Changing Times (with Michael McDonald) – 05:12
Chain Of Fools (with Mariah Carey) – 03:12
Don’t Waste Your Time (with Mary J. Blige) – 04:11
Love All The Hurt Away (with George Benson) – 04:21
Nessun Dorma (with the New York Recording Orchestra) – 03:20

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There are duet records, and then there is recording “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” with Keith Richards. A 16-track compilation of Aretha Franklin’s duets from the ’80s and ’90s, Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets with the Queen benefits from the high-profile partners that the Queen of Soul has been able to hook over the years (plus a trio of new tracks featuring sympathetic partners: John Legend, Mary J. Blige, and Fantasia). Spanning her Arista years, the collection runs the gamut of studio techniques from the ’80s to the 2000s. Six songs come from the ’80s, including the Keith Richards feature, which is a little too pristine to suit a version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Others from the same era sound better, such as “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” with Eurythmics (which benefits from David Stewart’s digital studio knowledge), and Franklin’s hit duet with George Michael on “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).” The ’90s duets are also mixed, including a lackluster pairing with Frank Sinatra on “What Now My Love” (from the original Duets album), but also an energetic live performance of “Chain of Fools” with Mariah Carey that works much better than could be expected. Of the new tracks, John Legend’s “What Y’All Came to Do” is the best, an upfront and testifying jam with deft vocal freestyles from Legend and Franklin.
Review by John Bush

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