Chaka Khan - 'Hello Happiness'

7/10

There is absolutely no denying that Chaka Khan is one of the most influential and legendary musicians the world has ever seen. Her incredible back catalogue of karaoke hits has left a lasting impression on the globe over the last 40+ years and given her a status on the world stage that others can only dream of. Yet after twelve years of silence from the frontwoman, she returned in recent months with the Switch-produced single 'Like Sugar', a release that reinvented her sound for a new era and has subsequently led to her twelfth studio album 'Hello Happiness', a release that rekindles plenty of that classic Chaka.

Usually when classic artists return in their golden years with a comeback record, the aim is to recapture their formative years, playing on nostalgia and traditional production styles in order to revive their long-appreciating fans. But with Chaka Khan's multi-generational acceptance, she has returned with release that could have been the backing to a new Bruno Mars album. The sound of 'Hello Happiness' is extremely fresh and inventive from start to finish, delivering a collection of funk-laced ideas that see producer Switch adopt a professional yet still basic approach to her new sound, allowing her to take centre stage while the rhythm of each track moves through you like a knife through hot butter.

While not every track hits the instant grab factor of singles such as 'Like Sugar' and its title-track, for a woman now in her mid-60s, she still knows how to stay fresh and relevant. 'Hello Happiness' is a competent and exciting release that will surely reintroduce Chaka Khan to this new generation of funk lovers, and show the new school just exactly how it is done.

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