Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Gladys Knight

  • Miss Gladys Knight [Buddah, 1978] C-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Miss Gladys Knight [Buddah, 1978]
The most inconsistent of Gladys's albums with the Pips offered frequent glimmers of the soul in the middle of the road, but this solo shot is dreary. Not only is it markedly duller than The One and Only . . . , supposedly her farewell to the Pips, but it's also less interesting than Callin', the second album by the Pips along together. I assume producer Gary Klein arranged the switch from New York soul session guys, who have their moments, to El Lay schlock-pop session guys, who don't. So he and second-stringer Tony Macaulay (why he have three songs on this album? why he produce them?) will do as scapegoats. But is it their fault she says "little one" instead of "little wog" on a version of "Sail Away" in which the slave trader's gently humorous persona recalls the narrator of "Try to Remember"? And was it they who saddled her with the Jim Gilstrap Singers, soon to change their name to the Paps? Even her summer TV show was more fun than this. C-