The gifted soul legend Roberta Flack takes a gusty, rewarding approach to this set of Beatles classics. Knowing how universally etched into the public consciousness these songs are, Flack finds new angles to explore. "In My Life" emphasizes a lithe, playful melody. "Hey Jude" is mercifully kept compact. It shouldn't be a surprise that it's largely Paul McCartney's richly melodic works that are brought to the front. George Harrison's "Isn't It a Pity" from his solo career also fits neatly, with his evergreen "Here Comes the Sun" being the album's bonus track. "We Can Work It Out" sports a hip-hop groove that brightens Flack's vocal. Though Flack takes on such chestnuts as "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road," she imbues them with a sassy optimism that makes their well-known melodies sound shockingly fresh. To hear the brash mop-top power pop of "I Should Have Known Better" turned into a dance number may divide the purists from the thrillseekers, but for an artist it's invaluable to take these chances.