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Chaka Khan - Funk This 
It's not often that classic r&b artists can maintain a foothold in today's youth-dominated environment, much less deliver their definitive work.  Yet that is what Chaka Khan has accomplished with the appropriately titled Funk This, one of 2007's best records and a deserving Grammy recipient.

Throughout her solo career, inferior material has always been Chaka's Achilles heel, preventing even her best albums from achieving truly classic status.   This time, Khan and the production duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis made sure the songs reflected her experience, settling on an intriguing blend of covers and original tunes. 

Kindred spirits Prince ("Sign O The Times"), Joni Mitchell ("Ladies Man") and Jimi Hendrix ("Castles Made Of Sand") all receive the Chaka treatment, and she even dips into the Rufus catalog for "You Got The Love" and "Pack'd My Bags."  As far as the original songs, the Mary J. Blige duet "Disrespectful" is a concession to market trends, humming along like a lost Amerie track.  But the others rely on Chaka's finely honed writing skills as she celebrates the old school ("Back In The Day") or riffs on family ("Hail To The Wrong").

Far from being the underwhelming product most aging stars release, Funk This showsn an artist at the peak of her powers.

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