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So Damn Happy

74 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 16, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 16, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B0000BXMZX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,402 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roy Pierce on September 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'm not sure what Anthony Nelson was thinking when he suggested that our beloved Queen should "pass the torch". All it takes is two or three notes of the first song, "The Only Thing That's Missin' Is You", and you know that this is the real deal from the one and only Queen Of Soul. I love alot of other female artists such as Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight and Etta James. However, the feeling that you get from Ree can only come from her! When she starts playing piano on "So Damn Happy" it takes me to a place where no one else can take me. She is a true living legend and there is absolutely NO ONE that would ever be worthy of taking the torch from her!
I know that a duet album had been in the rumour mill for along time. I don't know if it is still in the works, but I'd like to suggest a long-awaited duet with Aretha and Mitch Ryder! Both Detroit natives, both rock/soul belters - how could it miss???
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peace Brotha on September 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a good set of tunes from the Queen, without one dud in the bunch.

I like the old-school tunes that Aretha penned the best, especially You Are My Joy, which borrows from Richard Smallwood's spiritual composition of a similar title. I love that classic retro sound, especially with Ree on the keys. Aretha's other original cut, the title track, reminds me of a combo of her own 1968 take of You Send Me and Natalie Cole's This Will Be.

The Burt Bacharach number, Falling Out Of Love, is amazing. With Aretha's more mellow sound of today an entire album's worth of new Bacharach material would truly be classic, especially since her skills would prevent the Schmaltz Syndrome that affects so much of Burt's music of the past 15 years or so.

Holdin' On is my favorite nu-school track, even though it's got a strong old-school Curtis Mayfield vibe to it. Great vibe, cool and knowing street attitude from the Queen, and one of the best vocals on the album are all featured here. Aretha's art involves way more than "screaming." This song proves that her subdued vocals in many ways arguably put her in a class of one even more than some of the intense performances do.

Every single song on the album is lyrically and melodically strong, something I couldn't say about the "Rose" album. The songs would be good no matter WHO recorded them, they really would. But having the Queen interpret each of these cuts is buttercream frosting on the cake. And Aretha sounds like she had a good time in the studio with these numbers, all of which are tightly produced.

The "only thing missin" for me is at least ONE song where Aretha goes all out vocally. I was thinking she just might do this. From what I've personally seen and heard she still can when she wants to.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Having read some of the previous reviews of this album I am reminded of a poem by Tennyson in which he wrrote, " tho much is taken, much abides, and tho' we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are we are..." I was 11 when I met Aretha on the radio transcending a little red plastic box, I am now 51 and she is transcending an MP3 player as I work out on a Sunday morning fighting back the encroaching grey... " tho much is taken, much abides..." Falsetto or not this is still Aretha in all her glory squeezing out feeling from the most banal lyrics, still transcending.
And she's happy... Listen to her mischievous cackle at the end of "So Damn Happy" - that alone is reason enough for celebration."Catfish and grits!"
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael James Leslie on September 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
In a music world filled with mediocrity and video driven stars it is refreshing to have another album from the Queen. Aretha has always sung the soul of a people without making herself the victim in a song. True her voice is not what it once was, but at 61 Aretha can get more emotion out of a turned phrase and one squalled note than any of the so-called divas and pretenders to her throne. When you are this good the drawback becomes that the material is not always up to your peformance, and I believe that is the case here. Her last album "A Rose is Still A Rose" was a better album in terms of songs. However, with the songs "Good News," "The Only Thing Missing," "Ain't No Way" (don't worry this is not a re-make but a new song), and the Mary J. Blige written "Holdin On," the Queen proves that being comtemporary and having artistry are not mutually exclusive.
It is rumored that Aretha is retiring from touring. Let us hope that she never retires from the studio and leave us to the mediocrity jackals.
I am awaiting the album that Aretha afficionadas have long salivated for: a duet album with her male equivalent Ray Charles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Harrison on April 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm a fan of Ree's music and I pay my due respect to the Queen of Soul but she misses it on this album.

She recorded too many tracks in her falsetto tone which becomes annoying after the fifth or so track. She also has a vocal sound that makes me think that she had her dentures in while she recorded this album.

The album overall pulls Ree in too many directions - from the hip hop flavoured tracks Holding On and No Matter What (featuring Mary J. Blige on background vocals) to Good News (a gospel track) to the title track and You Are My Joy (which Ree wrote and produced herself), there are too many genres on one album. And why did she include a reprise of You Are My Joy? It was unnecessary.

Overall, the album did not inspire me and after listening to it a few times, it left me empty. I hope Ree will make up for it in her next release. And Ree, please tone it down on the falsetto vocals.
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