David Browne
May 01, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Woman I Am

Current Status
In Season
Chaka Khan

We gave it a C-

Ever since her ’70s days with the rubbery grooved soul band Rufus, Chaka Khan has been the great untapped voice of modern R&B — a singer with a lusty, brassy delivery that’s usually placed in the most inappropriate and generic surroundings. Sadly, that’s the case once again with The Woman I Am, on which 10 producers strive hard to make Khan appeal to the young, black new-jack audience that favors singers like Lisa Fischer and Keith Washington. Khan gives it her all, snaking her voice through the bubbly chorus of ”Give Me All” and wrapping it around the delicious hook of ”Love You All My Lifetime.” But it’s all for naught. Songs like ”Everything Changes” are more formula than baby food, and the synthesizer-heavy arrangements are leaden and lumpy. Where is Rufus when we need them?

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