I was listening to Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace today. I'm not talking about having it on while I'm playing chess, either, I'm talking about walkin around with the MP3 player, paying attention to nothing but the record. You know what? Aretha could sang. I mean, I knew that before, but as is often the case with records you grow up listening to, you don't really appreciate the performance because you're so used to it. Earlier this week I was listening to a lot of Mahalia Jackson and *blasphemy alert* I think Aretha was better. (I say was because there's no way her voice can go back to being what it was at that time.) Don't get me wrong, Mahalia was great, but she was just the precursor to Aretha. Aretha was Mahalia squared. She made her money doing R&B, but when Aretha did Gospel, it was like she was coming home. Amazing Grace is not a perfect album, but Aretha's singing on there-- excuse me. Aretha's sangin on there is unbelievable. I think that Ella Fitzgerald had the best singing voice, but Aretha had the best sangin voice. Another Gospel sanger who...well I think she gets her props in Gospel circles, is Tramaine Hawkins. She had the tools. That chick could sho' nuff sang. If you listen to the first two Love Alive albums (which I highly recommend. I'm currently trying to decide which of them was better. If anybody knows those albums and has a case for 1 or 2, let me know.) Either way, Tramaine turned it out. Off the top of my head, her performance on Changed (LA 1) and He's That Kind of Friend (LA 2) are staggering.