Irene Reid

A Man Only Does (What a Woman Makes Him Do)

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A Man Only Does (What a Woman Makes Him Do) abandons the traditional jazz sensibilities of Irene Reid's previous LPs in favor of a more mainstream, soul-inspired formula that draws extensively on arranger Clyde Otis' past work with crossover acts like Brook Benton and Dinah Washington. Otis' sweeping, string-sweetened charts beautifully complement Reid's powerful readings of songs spanning from "This Bitter Earth" to "For Once in My Life." Always a deeply emotional singer, she seems to summon new reserves of poignancy and depth throughout the session, and even if the album failed to meet its obvious commercial aspirations, it's plainly a creative success.