Feels So Good features artists from wide range of musical genres

By Julia Chirls, Staff Writer ||

Grammy award-winning, singer-songwriter legend Dionne Warwick released her 38th studio album Feels So Good on Oct. 27. After 50 years in the music industry, she is still writing original songs that appeal to her loyal fans — and their grandchildren!

In 1968, “I Say a Little Prayer” from the album The Windows of the World was nominated for Best Contemporary Female Solo Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards.  “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” from the album Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls won Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Performance, Female at the 1969 Grammy Awards.

Amazingly, Warwick sits second on the list of most-charted female vocalists of all time, with 69 singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998 and has had three singles inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame: “Alfie” (1967), “Don’t Make Me Over” (1962), and “Walk on By” (1964).

Since the 2012 release of her last album, Now, Warwick has been recording Feels So Good, which features 13 different artists throughout the 14-song track list. By featuring musicians from Cee Lo Green to Billy Ray Cyrus, Warwick hopes to reach a range of audiences in order to expand their musical library. With her new album, Dionne Warwick is guaranteed an even larger following, especially among young listeners who will keep her legacy alive well into the future.

Each of the songs on Feels so Good has been released on hit albums over the last 50 years. In the production of Feels so Good, Warwick’s goal was to add a twist to each of the 14 songs, making them current and reminding her audience that she is still present in the music industry. What makes the track list so wonderful is that the only aspect that has changed is the addition of a featured singer. The instrumental aspect has remained the same, keeping what makes the songs legendary.

“I’ll Never Love this Way Again” reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. To recreate this song, she features another legendary singer-songwriter with nearly 60 years in the music industry, Gladys Knight. “I’ll Never Love this Way Again” is currently the most popular song on Feels So Good, according to iTunes. One of Knight’s most well-known songs is “That’s What Friends Are For,” which she sang with Warwick as well as Stevie Wonder and Elton John. In “I’ll Never Love this Way Again”, there is a drumbeat that adds a nice rhythm. Warwick and Knight sound similar, but being together in this duet contributes significantly to the meaning of the lyrics.

“Déjà Vu” is currently the second most popular song on Feels So Good. Warwick sings alongside Jamie Foxx, perhaps most recently recognized for his role as Django in Django Unchained. “Déjà Vu” placed number 15 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. In this version of “Déjà Vu,” Foxx adds a suave yet masculine voice in contrast with Dionne Warwick’s raspy tone. The beat is highlighted with what sounds like the clacking of two drumsticks. In addition, the violins and echoing voices singing “déjà vu” throughout the chorus in the background benefit the smoothness of this classic R&B hit. The track’s lyric rhyming adds catchiness and draws the listener in. Warwick and Foxx take turns, creating a harmony with each other and the accompanying music.

Feels So Good is a listening opportunity you do not want to pass up. It is an unforgettable album that is sure to please and that you will not want to stop listening to. Don’t miss out on a milestone in Dionne Warwick’s ever-thriving career.

Sophomore Julia Chirls is a staff writer. Her email is jchirls@fandm.edu.

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