James claims that this will be her final studio album due to mounting health problems. But unlike the Alzheimer’s-stricken Glen Campbell, who said the same of his recent Ghost on the Canvas, the 73-year-old R&B legend — a favorite of Adele’s — doesn’t sound grateful for the ride she’s had on The Dreamer; she’s irked over bowing out early. Snarling through covers as far-flung as ”Welcome to the Jungle” and Little Big Town’s ”Boondocks,” James brings some welcome grit to the retirement-album game.
Apparently, Etta James' musical career ends with The Dreamer. The legendary vocalist announced a few months back that this would be her final album; she's retiring from music in order to deal with serious medical issues. Co-produced by James, Josh Sklair, and her sons Danto and Sametto, The Dreamer's 11 tracks offer an imperfect but utterly worthy portrait of the places she's been musically with a couple of selections that reveal her dictum that "every song is a blues." Her signature meld of soul, blues, rhythm & blues, rock, and country are all on display here.
A powerful last stand from a true musical great. Martin Longley 2011. There aren’t many artists who get to officially make a retirement statement. Most stars just gradually fade away, or sometimes go supernova in a suitably spectacular fashion. Perhaps David Bowie has retired. Or is he merely ….
Multi-genre – and genre-defining – singer Etta James is apparently calling it quits. After half a century of recording with and for legends, battling addiction, opening for the Stones, coming back from the bottom to win Grammys, and showing two generations of female vocalists that being a great singer involves more than wailing like a banshee, James is releasing what is to be her final album, The Dreamer. And she’s going out with neither a bang nor a whimper, but with the same style and class that have marked her recording career for 50 years.