ALBUM REVIEW: New twists on classic recordings by soul queen

A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
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A Brand New Me - Aretha Franklin with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Out Now

I was quite excited to get the chance to review this album.

Aretha Franklin’s classic recordings of ‘Respect’, ‘Think’ and stunning cover of ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ are driven by strong, soulful vocals which have no comparison.

So to see her singing with the backing of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, I thought ‘this is going to good.’

And the album is a musical dream.

However, I was disappointed to learn that she is not singing live with the orchestra, but that the vocals from her original recordings have simply been ‘dubbed’ over new orchestral arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic.

This is something that has been done previously by the orchestra, in the album ‘If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.’ The masterminds behind that album, Nick Patrick and Don Reedman have teamed up to repeat the project with this Aretha album.

But while she might not be singing live, the album does work, opening with punchy horns, dramatic strings and ‘honky-tonk’ piano on first song ‘Think.’

Enjoy new twists to other classics such as ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, and ‘You’re All I Need To Get By.’

Reviewed by Zoe Myall.