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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'The Essential Patti LaBelle' (Legacy)
Artist - Patti LaBelle

It is just so hard to believe that there are fewer and fewer Soul Sisters that really still know how to sing their hearts out, that are just from the heart on the inside. Patti LaBelle has definitely shown that for over 5 decades in the music industry. On her own, as a member of The Bluebelles, and with LaBelle, she has really showed a lot of dominance with her voice and her strength that still stands the testiments of time. Nevertheless, with so many younger divas that have been overplayed on the radio lately like Beyonce', Rihanna and Fantasia Burrino from American Idol, feeling more like they are manufactured and not organic enough, it is easy to forget how influential Patti LaBelle really still stands. Now, there is another hits package that reflects her attitudes that just blow your mind away.

The new 2008 Essesntial Patti LaBelle is a double album that highlights Patti from her best over her big titles from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's. The songs have all been restored nicely, and bring in a few nice treats that appeal to longtime LaBelle fans. The album includes some very rare treats including some new, never-before released songs as well as standouts from her eras in the music industry. The collection includes her big attitudes like New Attitude, her #1 duet On My Own with Michael McDonald, as well as classic staples like If Only You Knew, Love, Need And Want You. The collection also mainly highlights great songs from her work with LaBelle on staples Moon Shadow, and the cult classic Lady Marmalade, and her beginnings with The Bluebelles on gems like Somewhere Over the Rainbow and I Sold My Heart To the Junkman.

There are also some rare gems here featured on this collection as well including a never-before live rendition of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes If You Don't Know Me By Now, and the never-before released Disco dance edition of her song Release. While all the new songs are sure to bring fans to their knees, there are sadly a few great Patti LaBelle tracks that sadly were omitted from The Essential Patti LaBelle that would've brought in even more excitement including 80's tracks like Oh People, the classic If You Asked Me To (which was much more recognized from Celine Dion), as well as When You've Been Blessed (Feels Like Heaven) and Stip It Up to just name a few.

While The Essential Patti LaBelle isn't as definitive or drawn out as well as her last double-album hits collection, the 2005 Gold release, there still is a lot of great material both old and new to draw in a lot of longtime fans who are just eager to her more from Miss Patti herself. Hearing this album, I actually am reminded of how gifted and strong Patti LaBelle still remains as a staple heart and soul. This is a great buy download for your MP3 player or to buy in your CD library. This new collection does bring in some great bite, and is really straight from the heart, and that is something worth while for a divas who still struts her stuff on her own. [MK]