Aretha Franklin is 72 years old with 18 Grammy Awards and is still out there making more music. This time around, she's tackling some of the great hits through the decades on the album called Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics. The new album, worked on with legendary Clive Davis, will hit stores on October 21 via RCA Records.
The first tune released from the collection of covers is the chart smasher "Rolling In The Deep" by British powerhouse Adele. The song put Adele at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks and propelled her album 21 to be one of the best selling albums in history, moving more than 28 million copies worldwide.
She's a really good writer with very heavy, deep lyrics. She's got something to say and she says it a little differently than the norm. But Miss Adele is not one to be messed with, listening to those lyrics!" Franklin told Rolling Stone.
Aretha Franklin's take is of course admirable that she would commend such a young bold talent by putting a new take on the song. But time is showing that Franklin's voice is not top notch for a song that powerful. Using falsetto runs, her voice sounds tired and worn out and when she aims for the high notes she just misses the real sentiment of the song. As the song plays on, she intertwines "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" as a sort of mashup and it just doesn't work for her. Franklin appeared on "The Today Show" this morning to give a performance that didn't stack up well against what we all know as one of the best songs of this current decade.
Comments across the internet range from disapproval to many saying "That's how it should have been sung." However, Adele wrote the song for herself, knew exactly what it meant to her and sang it with conviction. That's how it should be sang.
Cover albums don't fare well when it comes to commercial releases mostly because the original songs may still be fresh in the mind. Perhaps the cover of Etta James' "At Last" or "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight and The Pips will pan out for the legendary queen of soul. Touching on songs like "Rolling In The Deep" and "No One" by Alicia Keys may not be strong renditions of later artists but it is surely an honour for those artists she is paying tribute to by one of the greats of all time.