Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Aretha Franklin: With Everything I Feel in Me [Atlantic, 1974]
Aretha has established herself as such a solid property--certain to hold onto a good-sized audience for years to come, but unlikely to expand any further--that it's getting hard to resist thinking of her as a cross between Frank Sinatra and Nancy Wilson, turning out collections as custom-designed as next year's Oldsmobile. This one's more ethereal styling--less bottom, more la-la scatting--is presaged by Young, Gifted and Black's exploration of the spirituality on black pop rather than Hey Now Hey's spindrift, and I like it fine. But it's hard to get excited about an album that puts so much of its soul into the codas. B+