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Chaka Khan: I Feel For You (Warner Bros.)

Don Snowden, The Boston Phoenix, November 1984

CHAKA KHAN'S quest to distance her solo work from Rufus' sly, slinky funk led her into an electronic embrace with producer Arif Mardin Two albums ago that yielded crossover dividends with upscale treatments of 'We Can Work It Out' and a slew of jazz standards. And if she remains entranced with her electro-boogie wonderland, her new I Feel for You (Warner Bros.) largely abandons sophisticated cover material to cop the latest street beats. Mardin enlists no fewer than eight console collaborators, but his executive stewardship ensures a unified sound for I Feel for You. He’s constructed a glistening metallic edifice of sound, true metal-machine music for life and love in highrise apartments where silk sheets and polished chrome dominate the décor. The full arrangements and rich melodic detail are so overwhelming that Khan’s vocals often take on the desperate air of someone trapped in a penthouse prison of her own device.

Total word count of piece: 437


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