Gwen McCrae

Let's Straighten It Out

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This probably isn't Gwen McCrae's best-selling album, since it doesn't contain her best-selling single, but it's definitely McCrae's most satisfying. She excels on all ends, including the upbeat and midtempo numbers and the smoldering ballads. On the robotic tip there are high scale shufflers like "Cradle of Love," "Love Insurance," the speedy dancer "Early Morning Love," and a good but predictable remake of Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." The four other selections include three remakes of classic ballads, bested by a chilling rendition of "Let's Straightened It Out," which rivals the original by labelmate Latimore; McCrae makes you think that she's going to have a breakdown before the song ends. She handles Mel & Tim's "Starting All Over Again," adding so much soul and passion that you'd think she wrote the song. She also coughs up a good rendition of "Tonight's the Night" and concludes with the infectious "At Bedtime." If you see this one, snatch it fast; it's worth the coins.