Soul legend Aretha Franklin is reportedly ready to release her long-awaited duets album this Fall. The disc, titled Jewels in the Crown, will be released on Arista Records and will include duets with Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and others. As is the case with a number of other recent duets albums, Jewels will also include two digitally created posthumous duets, here with Luther Vandross and Frank Sinatra.I can pretty much listen to Aretha sing the phone book, but I am so not looking forward to this. I can only imagine the oversinging and oversouling that will occur on this album, as the artists outdo themselves in trying to prove themselves worthy of singing with the Queen. I get that they're trying to sell some records, and for sake of being people turned onto Aretha, I hope it sells a ton, but it would be so amazing if Aretha just junked all that stuff, and made the kind of album she's still capable of making; intimate, powerful, stripped down, gritty and soulful. The world could really use a great Aretha Franklin album. Have Keith Richards produce it - he did a great job with her cover of "Jumping Jack Flash" back in '86.
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