Chaka Kahn, 'Hello Happiness' - review
by Iona Catherine
Chaka Khan’s Hello Happiness is the first release by the ‘Queen of funk’ in the last twelve years. It explores the use of classic funk styles accompanied by soulful tunes and the additional influence of modern productions, making this album the perfect mix of funk and modern genres.
The easy listening title track, Hello Happiness, is accompanied by a steady beat which reflects the funk feel of the album, with an added strong bass line. Some of the songs convey an emotive and empowering message of womanhood, such as Like A Lady, which highlights Khan’s impressive vocal range in a celebration of being a woman. The other tracks show the influence of blues, gospel and soul, which can be seen for instance in the track Too Hot, in which the backing vocals add a gospel-like, raw feeling to the song, infused with other influences such as dubstep, like in Don’t Cha Know, and orchestra.
Khan has delivered an album with a contemporary edge, to introduce new fans to her music, yet with the quality that her longterm fans will recognise and enjoy. Although the album runs just under half an hour, the impact that Khan makes is immense and breathtaking. She has merged a wide range of musical styles and influences that can reach old and new fans of her music, from her upbeat tempo of Hello Happiness but also adding modern music productions into the mix, giving the album a unique sounding and alternative collaboration of musical genres.