Millie Jackson / Isaac Hayes

Royal Rappin's

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Royal Rappin's certainly looks great on paper -- it's the pairing of two of music's most loquacious and sexually geared acts, Millie Jackson and Isaac Hayes -- but despite all its potential, the album doesn't impress quite like it could have. A few years earlier, Hayes recorded a live double album with Dionne Warwick and the sparks were more than genuine. With Jackson and the declining Muscle Shoals sound though, it seems more like a terrible blind date that can't end soon enough. Part of the problem is that Hayes doesn't have any production duties and is basically dropped into a Millie Jackson album. There are a few good moments, however. "Sweet Music, Soft Lights and You" manages to capture a groove that complements their styles. Still, the pointless covers and underdone originals sink this like a stone. The slightly perked-up "You Needed Me" is weird and the disco-fied "Feels Like the First Time" is surreal. Although Hayes and Jackson's legend of gab preceded them, the chatter here is forced and annoying, especially on "If I Had My Way" and "If You Had Your Way." Unfortunately, Royal Rappin's captures the worst of two great soul artists.

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