The concept here is made plain in the title: tough female soul singers, singing about the hard bumps of romance with toughness and independence. If that's what you want, there's plenty of straight talking here. If you're primarily after good late-'60s/early-'70s soul, it delivers that as well. Aside from Aretha Franklin's "Respect," none of these were big pop hits; many of them didn't even make a splash in the R&B world. It's a good mix of lesser-known tracks by Ann Peebles, Irma Thomas, Betty Wright, and Mable John with ones by singers who are hardly known at all outside of soul aficionados, like Janice Tyrone, Priscilla Price, Jeane & the Darlings, and James Brown protege Lyn Collins. It also has the Velvettes' "Needle in a Haystack," one of the least frequently anthologized mid-'60s Motown singles.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger