In light of the legendary soul singer's passing today, we felt it was only right to explore some of her music and see truly just how powerful it was. Aretha Franklin was an unstoppable force in music, changing its pace forever. Her 1968 effort perhaps put her amazing career into perspective. Aretha Franklin inspired and empowered in Lady Soul, a record that showed the best of her abilities and power.
One thing Franklin accomplished above all else was to be a voice for the voiceless. Her music empowered women and African-Americans alike, rising up as more than just a pop-star, but a hero. Lady Soul focusses more in on empowering women, however. Opening track 'Chain Of Fools' begins the record on a very empowering note. The song is about finding out your long-time partner has cheated on you, but instead of being upset about it, Franklin rears up and fires back with anger. A lot of this record doesn't focus on sadness, but instead the rising up in the aftermath of pain. 'Money Won't Change You' and 'Good To Me As I Am To You' are both tracks that find Franklin in painful positions, but instead of crying about it, she fights back and demands respect. You don't really see clapbacks like this anymore in modern music. Franklin skips the sadness and goes straight to the "you won't break me" attitude.
That being said, Lady Soul is full of dynamic. There isn't really sadness, but there are times where she searches for hope in her music. 'People Get Ready' is all about finding hope and believing in yourself even in dark times. Her classic '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' is a sweeter track, not as demanding but just as powerful. It's an uplifting track about love rather than one about finding power from pain. Franklin's vocals shine throughout the record, but especially on the wailing 'Come Back Baby' where the song's power comes mainly from her huge voice. Franklin commanded respect in every song, even when she showed fragility.
Aretha Franklin inspired and empowered in Lady Soul, her 1968 record that showcased everything she's got: her voice, her empowerment, her statement, and even her fragility. She flawlessly managed to find the upside of the pain she felt and saw, and her music still has an important message today. Gone but not forgotten, her soul and spirit live on in her music.
Rest in peace, Aretha Franklin.
Favorite Tracks: Chain Of Fools, People Get Ready, Good To Me As I Am To You
Least Favorite Track: Niki Hoeky
Rating: 83 / 100
Stream or buy Lady Soul on Apple Music, and follow our Throwback Playlist on Spotify: