Aretha Franklin – Spirit In The Dark

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

Sounds like?

soul / r&b


Queen of soul sings southern gold


Aretha is such a focused and powerful singer that I've had trouble finding albums of hers I can sit and enjoy; recognizing her ability but not wanting to listen to a full LP of gospel or soul. Here she feels at her most personal, leaning heavily into R&B with a southern flair from the strong muscle shoals backing band. The result is wonderful and presents her in a very accessible format for rock fans. While she still sings with gospel flair at times (pullin ends with a particularly feverous higher calling) it's done so in a way that integrates smoothly with the r&b sound.

There's a few weaker tracks towards the end but the overall sound of this record, pairing the queen of soul with an almost raw blues band, makes this one not to miss.

For further reading around her personal history and troubles going into this are documented well in the Pitchfork review (

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Aretha Franklin – Spirit In The Dark

Description: Album Review of Aretha Franklin – Spirit In The Dark

Rating: 5 out of 5