Consumer Guide Album
Aretha Franklin: One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism [Arista, 1988]
This artist-produced special-price live double comes from somewhere inside her--her soul, say--that doesn't distinguish between the personal, the political, and the religious. Structured to evoke a real church service, every side interrupted by a lengthy patch of prayer/invocation/sermon, it offers scant beat and lots of vocal glory, with much laying on of harmony. Guests include Mavis Staples, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Jaspar Williams, and (on three sides for fourteen minutes total) Jesse Jackson. At times it seems like a self-indulgence, but more often its refusal of commercial compromise triumphs. Call it her tribute to her daddy. And never complain about her taste in clothes again.