The Woman I Am

The Woman I Am

After a four-year hiatus Chaka Khan returned to the R&B scene with The Woman I Am. Even in the few years since 1988’s C.K. a lot had changed. It was a new decade, bringing with it new technologies and the emergence of new styles — specifically, techno and hip-hop. Never one to shy away from evolution, Kahn embraced the changes enthusiastically and emerged with a commercial and critical success. Though it was executive-produced by urban music executive Benny Medina, The Woman I Am features productions by modern R&B/jazz producer Marcus Miller as well as Arif Mardin, Khan’s longtime producer and mentor. Even though the album has all the imprints of a 1992 R&B record, it also feels timeless. “I Want” and “Give Me All” are club tracks that could compete with anything Madonna or Janet Jackson were putting out, but Khan’s warmth and humanism are what really sets the album apart. She brings sincerity and suppleness to “Love With No Strings” and “This Time.” Two decades had already passed since Chaka’s debut, but she brings the vivacious sensuality of her ‘70s work into modern songs like “You Can Make the Story Right.”

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