ARETHA FRANKLIN: GET IT RIGHT (1983)
1) Get It Right; 2) Pretender; 3) Every Girl (Wants My Guy); 4) When You Love Me Like That; 5) I Wish It Would Rain; 6) Better Friends Than Lovers; 7) I Got Your Love; 8) Giving In.
Believe it or not, this second Franklin-Vandross collaboration is a wee bit better than the first — and, of course, in strict accordance with Murphy's law, it sold far less, making this the duo's last collaboration. Too bad — they were just starting to get accustomed to each other.
Not that there is a huge difference or anything, but Get It Right gets one thing right: it cuts down, quite seriously, on overblown power ballads, concentrating almost completely on the dance pop aspect; even the more sentimental tracks are mostly set to bouncy rhythms, giving Marcus Miller plenty of chances to practice his slap playing. Certainly, this is not the kind of style at all that would ever truly fit Franklin's breeding, but... anything but this Eighties style of boom-boom balladry. Even the bubbly Casio sound.
The title track, when released as a single, was obviously targeted at the same people who gobbled up 'Jump To It'. However, 'Get It Right' cuts down a little bit on the flashy (fleshy) sexiness of its predecessor, its hooks are less explicit, and setting up a counting-out rhyme as the main chorus melody may be considered a dumb move even by people who are not usually bothered by that kind of thing. Anyway, it takes time to appreciate it, and even then it's hardly a timeless dance classic that will not make one regret that time. So it sort of flopped.
The one recording that may eventually survive as an interesting timepiece is the reworking of The Temptations' 'I Wish It Would Rain'. This is where Aretha steps into her element, and one can only regret that she did not try out the song ten years earlier; Miller gives it his best, but the robo-drums and synthesized strings neutralize his effort. Yet, what would sound as a passable Eighties curio on an Aretha retrospective becomes an obvious, outstanding highlight here, in the midst of all the routine dance-pop.
More bad news include Aretha's first, very tentative, and, as a result, very pitiful-sounding attempt at rapping (the coda to 'Pretender'); and plenty of repetitive, mind-numbing choruses that drag each song out to about twice its expected length, which is why, like Jump To It, this album also has but eight tracks. Did people really make use of that? were American discos hopping and bopping to the extended grooves of Get It Right back in 1983? I seriously doubt it. And, to make matters worse, the album cover flashes the cheesiest photo for the lady since La Diva tried picturing her as a disco whore. So this is still a thumbs down, despite the best efforts of the bass player and the semi-successful Temptations cover.
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