Picks and Pans Review: Let's Roll

UPDATED 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

Etta James (Private)

Don't mess with Miss Etta. Fresh from last year's Grammy-nominated live recording, the 65-year-old matriarch of the blues (with her own newly unveiled star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame) emerges from the studio with another relentless outpouring of attitude and angst. Backed by the Roots Band, featuring sons Donto and Sametto, James early on proclaims, "The blues is my business, and business is good!" What an understatement. On a dozen songs about hard living, loving and the lessons they teach, James's coarse, sometimes throaty vocals turn a breakup into an act of self-respect on "A Change Is Gonna Do Me Good" and support rollicking irony on "Lie No Better," in which a cheating spouse is told, "If you can't lie no better, you might as well tell the truth."

BOTTOM LINE: Roll rocks

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters