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Funk This

4.2 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 25, 2007
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Product Description

Chaka Khan's Funk This showcases some of her powerful vocals and most compellings songs to date. In perfect form, Chaka has recorded both new material and covers of some tracks that are near and dear to her heart. This incredible funk album takes us back to Chaka's roots, with much of the feel and instrumentation used in her Rufus days. Includes guest artists Mary J. Blige, Michael McDonald and original Rufus member Tony Maiden.

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The first track off Chaka Khan's first album since 2004's Classikhan unspools the vibe she's going for instantly--in the space of a single boing-y guitar lick--and a little deeper in, the lyrics seal the deal: "Those very sounds floating in and out of my head/Created the magic that sealed my fate," she hollers in the don't-hold-back style that's made her an icon. We get the picture--Funk This is Chaka reflecting on three decades of full-bodied, fevered-up soul music and examining how it is she got to be so funkalicious in the first place. Where a lot of legends retrace their backstories and end up with albums that sound warmed over, though, Chaka forges forward (and back) with fresh and fiery swagger; you wouldn't want to handle any of these 13 songs without an oven mitt. That's not to say they aren't familiar. In addition to several just-written songs (the pretty, provocative "Angel," the heartfelt "One for All Times," and the pointedly honest "Will You Love Me"), Chaka covers Prince's "Sign o' the Times," Joni Mitchell's "Ladies Man," and Jimi Hendrix's "Castles Made of Sand," and she also twists a couple of songs she originally recorded with Rufus, "Pack'd My Bags" and "You Got the Love," into a juiced-up medley. Carly Simon's "You Belong to Me" gets the cover treatment in a likable duet with Michael McDonald, but it's another duet that earns this disc five stars for sizzle: "Disrespectful," written by Mary J. Blige and sung with her, busts out glorious grit and gut-level soul, the kind that'll leave listeners quoting Chaka in her "I'm Every Woman" phase: "Whoa, whoa, whoa-oh." --Tammy La Gorce
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • ASIN: B000TP5ST4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,351 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"Funk this" is Chaka Khan's debut for label Burgundy, which was set up just for music veterans like herself, Gloria Estefan, Aaron Neville and Donna Summer to mention a few acts. It features Chaka at her funky and vocal best.

Produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, it comprises covers, as well as original songs.

Opening cut "Back in the day" is a slice of choppy guitar driven funk. "Foolish fool" is a lovely guitar/piano/organ sprinkled mid-tempo song with a nice retro feel. "Will you love me" is a beautiful mid-tempo number with a chugging bassline.

"One for all time" and "Angel" are lovely ballads, and Chaka Khan even covers Prince (again - remember "I feel for you"?) on "Sign `o' the times" (even getting in a few notes of "I'm every woman" - Whoa whoa whoa - towards the end), Jimi Hendrix "Castles made of sand" (nice rock/blues treatment), Joni Mitchell "Ladies man" and a superb cover of Carly Simon's "You belong to me" (performed with Michael McDonald who co-wrote it with Simon. Their voices sound excellent together).

Highlight in my opinion, and lead off single, is the fiery feminist anthem, the contemporary sounding "Disrespectful" (nice jerky tune with lovely harmonies), a duet with Mary J Blige (who penned the tune), and of course it is a diva fest.

This is a highly enjoyable collection. Ms Khan is back so crank up the volume and "Funk this"!!!

P.S. While this is Chaka's first studio release in a decade, her album of covers, "ClassiKhan" was released in 2004.
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Format: Audio CD
Harkening back to her days with the groundbreaking r & b group Rufus, Funk This is an excellent set of originals and remakes that provide ample evidence why Chaka is considered perhaps the greatest funk vocalist ever. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have assembled a set of first-rate musicians and compositions that fit Chaka like a glove, further reminding us that Funk This is going to be something we have not heard in quite some time.

Several reviewers of Funk This have claimed this to be Chaka's first release in 10 years (since "Come 2 My House"). Those reviewers negligently overlook 2004's wonderful Classikhan, which had Chaka teamed with the London Symphony Orchestra. Though almost entirely remakes, it cannot be flatly said that this is her first release in 10 years. But while on "Classikhan" Chaka lends her formidable jazz and blues chops to re-imagine some classic songs (including scorching versions of "Diamonds Are Forever," and "Goldfinger"), she brings pure, unadulterated funk to her latest endeavor.

From Tony Maiden's guitar licks on the opener "Back In the Day," and Chaka's first line "Guess I grew up fast/in Chi-town," you know you are in for a singular performance. There are too many other highlights to mention: the hook-drenched "Will You Love Me?" (with its "wall of Chakas), the funky "Hail To The Wrong" (those handclaps!), the beautifully rendered and structured "Angel," the aching "One For All Time," Chaka's reading of Joni Mitchell's "Ladies Man" and Jimi's "Castles Made of Sand," (the latter featuring Jesse Johnson's guitar doing a darn good Hendrix interpretation), the gritty version Dee Dee Bridgewater's "Foolish Fool" (with Aaron Spears' kickdrum at the bridge), and the blistering duet with Mary J. Blige, "Disrespectful.
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Format: Audio CD
Legendary singer Chaka Khan red-hot & fiery in this tremendous collection of stunning vocal performances among her best ever, opening with self-penned funky grinder "Back In The Day", obvious the legendary lady is back in peak form in a grandiose & inspired production...late legendary singer/songwriter Ed Townsend timeless "Foolish Fool" is definitive featuring a gritty raw performance from Chaka that is soul-deep and supremely satisfying.
Something very special about "Funk This" are winning self-penned keepers like the unique & rhythmic complex "One For All Time", numerous other gems show Chaka to be a wonderfully accomplished singer/songwriter making it easy to why this masterful & tremendous collection earned Chaka Khan two well-deserved "Grammy Awards"...BRAVO CHAKA!
Chaka back better than ever and a classic Chaka Khan performance is always a joy to behold, so sit back and listen in wonder to "Angel" and be stunned by a performance of great depth and spectacular vocal beauty, be enthralled by an artist who is at the peak of her wondrous ability to take the listener to another dimension in a haunting and mesmerizing way.
"Will You Love Me?" is exotic & mesmerizing with another brilliant Kahn vocal hitting scorching heights while fascinating Jimi Hendrix original "Castles Made Of Sand" is an engrossing rocker, next hold on for "Grammy Award" winning duet with Chaka & Mary J. in awesome form, making "Disrespectful" the greatest DIVA DUAL in many years, in better musical times than this current musical drought, "Sign'O'The Times" penned by Prince would have been a huge #1 Blockbuster Hit like "I Feel For You"...magnificent in every way, this funky anthem will grow on anyone who loves a brilliant magical musical ride after a just a few spins...
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