Roberta Flack – Chapter Two

ARTIST: Roberta Flack 220px-Chapter_two_album

TITLE:  Chapter Two

YEAR RELEASED: 1970

CHART ACTION: US #33, #4 R&B, #2 Jazz

SINGLES: Reverend Lee, Do What You Gotta Do (#117)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: She covers Just Like a Woman, Let It Be Me and The Impossible Dream

LINEUP: Roberta Flack, Eric Gale, Donny Hathaway and session bassists and drummers.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album from Flack (released before her huge breakthrough) is a little less jazzy and more about interpreting pop standards and other songs with a lounge R&B feel.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The voice is still impeccable, and moving. Yet this second album from Flack falls short of her debut mainly because the material, while more popular and mainstream, is less adventurous.

There are some definite highlights, such as the singles and the closer “Business Goes on As Usual”. But her take on “Just Like a Woman” extended too long, and some of the standards put her in definite lounge singer category. Which is what she was when she was discovered, it’s just a shame because she could do much more than that. Even when it’s not loungy, like on “Gone Away”, the production goes the other way – it’s too busy and takes away from Flack.

Still, it’s a well-sung album that is good for late-night listening. I was just hoping for some more jazz adventures this time.

NOTES & MINUTAE: Donny Hathaway was a college friend of Flack, and they would form quite a musical partnership through the 70’s.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION:  No

GRADE: B. You can’t fault Flack’s voice. You can question some of the material and arrangements, though.

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