Consumer Guide Album
Aretha Franklin: Get It Right [Arista, 1983]
As long as Luther Vandross produces her she'll never do anything awful, but she might do something bland. Vandross's problem, obviously, is songs--he does his job on the title track, but even the one by Aretha's son outclasses his other four, which I blame in part on collaborator Marcus Miller, whose bass anchors the suavely pervasive groove. His virtue, just as obviously, is that he lets Aretha sing--there's a hoarse velvet grain to her voice here that turns Michael Lovesmith's "Better Friends Than Lovers" into a major statement and the Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain" into an Aretha song.