Gladys Knight

At Last

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At Last, Gladys Knight's first studio album since 1995, offers a much-welcomed return by the gifted vocalist who easily adapts to contemporary music without compromising her signature sweet tones. The 13 tracks featured on At Last are a blend of mid-tempo R&B fare and ballads. Because Knight seamlessly incorporates a 2001 music sensibility to this recording, At Last can comfortably sit alongside works by Destiny's Child, Toni Braxton, Faith Evans, and other younger musical counterparts. Single releases from this album will be right at home on R&B and urban radio stations. Being out of the studio for six years has had no effect on Knight, as she is in top form. Her voice is rich, soulful, and silky as she grooves on such tracks as "If I Were Your Woman II" and "Greatest Love of All." "Grandma's Hands" takes a more soulful, gospel-like turn, with words reminiscent of Southern ragtime blues. References to fried bacon, Sunday morning, and church imagine a Southern lifestyle deeply rooted in family and religion. "Love Hurts" sees Knight's voice full of emotion as she offers a nurturing and sage perspective on matters of the heart. Actor Jamie Foxx takes a turn on the mic with Knight on "I Wanna Be Loved." It's the album's one mildly uncomfortable moment because Foxx lacks the power and presence to hold his own alongside Knight. His voice just disappears on this duet. At Last marks a refreshing return by Gladys Knight, who doesn't miss a beat.

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