Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Aretha Franklin: Aretha [Arista, 1980]
Yes, there are bright spots--a funk trifle with Re on piano, an autobiographical reminiscence speeded up Vegas-style, her voice. But the guidance she gets from new corporate mentor Clive Davis is typified by the vamp she adds to "What a Fool Believes." "Get the funk, get it now," she murmurs valiantly over a rhythm section anchored, as they say, by Louis Johnson and Jeff Porcaro. And who do you think plays the sax outro? If you guessed David Sanborn you get the picture. [Catalogue number: AL 9358.] B-