Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Chaka Khan: What Cha' Gonna Do for Me [Warner Bros., 1981]
Between the self-affirmative signals--writing more, steady band, you know--and the "Night in Tunisia" cover, this is where she's supposed to come into her own, but the real clue is the leadoff "We Can Work It Out," a great song she does nothing for because what she's really after is pop credibility. Although I've never thought of her as a crucial funk artist, without her usual quota of popping bass and mother-popcorn guitar her pop is soft. Nancy Wilson herself could have covered "Night in Tunisia." B-