Gladys Knight

Good Woman

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After performing with the Pips since 1952, Gladys Knight parted company with them in the late '80s and became a full-time solo artist. Good Woman wasn't Knight's first solo album (she'd recorded a neglected solo album in 1978), but it was the first to do anything commercially. Like her final recordings with the Pips, Good Woman found Knight taking an urban contemporary-oriented approach without sacrificing her artistic integrity. The highly infectious single "Men" is an absolute gem, and cuts ranging from the smooth "This Is Love" to the gritty new jack swing number "Meet Me In the Middle" (which contains a sample of Public Enemy's Flavor Flav) are definitely the work of an artist being true to herself. Some may find it hard to imagine Knight embracing new jack swing, but in fact, she does so convincingly. Though a few of the cuts aren't very memorable, this is a CD that the veteran singer can, for the most part, be proud of.

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