Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Chaka Khan: Life Is a Dance: The Remix Project [Warner Bros., 1989]
This peculiar compilation of newly commissioned remixes makes two artistic assumptions. First, that Chaka's voice and expressive reach render her the Aretha of the '80s. Second, that for various house-identified producers to fiddle with eleven of her solo titles is both an homage to and a reinterpretation of her oeuvre--even when, as does happen, her voice and expressive reach are reduced to icing and florets in the process. I accept neither. And I discern a commercial assumption underneath it all--here's a low-cost way to milk Chaka's cult. C+