One of the most talented bands of the '70s, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan is the groups' fourth release in close to three years. Although this effort doesn't have the epiphanies of 1974's Rufusized, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan has them becoming more established as one of the best bands in R&B and pop. The first track, Gavin Christopher's "Fool's Paradise" displays Khan's skill at screaming notes and making complex ideas sound simple, and vice versa. That art is put to work throughout Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan. "Everybody's Got an Aura" surely could be dismissed as babble but Khan gives the sentiments a ring of truth even as she shouts, "Everybody's got karma!" The lilting yet propulsive "Circle" has great bass work from Bobby Watson as Khan sings likeable and spacy lines, the best being, "My love is like a zero/It is nothing and everything." The albums biggest track, the smoldering "Sweet Thing," has Tony Maiden's gentle guitar and Kevin Murphy's economical electric piano chords. The song is arguably the group's best as Khan's bittersweet vocal provided a standard many singers have attempted to approximate to no avail. The party starters "Have a Good Time" and "Dance Wit Me" both tread familiar ground and pale in comparison to the classic "Once You Get Started." The last track, a cover of "Jive Talking," is inexplicably slowed to a crawl, therefore, diminishing its appeal. Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan perfectly captures their unconventional sound and features Tower of Power on horns and Clare Fischer's string arrangements. This album is one of their best and is recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Elias