Review Summary: A commonly forgotten pioneer of Soul and R&B
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1938, Etta James had grown up to be one of the biggest Soul/R&B voices to be recorded.
All of you know her song 'At Last!'. It was the single that rose her to fame. It has been played on many commercials, movies, and television shows. It is THE classic love anthem, and will remain so for years to come. But there's more to this album than just the famous song.
If there was one word to describe her voice, it would be sexy. Songs such as: 'I Just Wanna Make Love to You', 'Stormy Weather', and 'A Sunday Kind of Love' make use of her sexy voice to create some of the era's most romantic music. While having great romantic tunes, Etta is also able to show other emotions very, very well with her voice. “My Heart Cries” and “If I Can't Have You” show her ability to convey sadness in a way that to this day is very rarely rivaled. Part of what's so great about this album is the fact that even with the theme of love, longing, and heart wrenching, Etta can still keep things light-hearted in between. “Tough Mary” is an upbeat, fun song where she sings about how to shop for her rather than longing or sadness.
Even with 14 tracks on this record, every song stays beneath 4 minutes long so it never gets old. Etta's big, elegant, yet also gentle and sexy voice never gets repetitive. At Last! remains to this day, one of the best soul/R&B albums. Though Etta never got to be as popular as artists such as Aretha Franklin, she still had the voice and the heart to hold her own with any of her contemporaries.