The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra matches Aretha Franklin's vocals with a new kind of sweeping soul in a reworking of the 1968 track "Think" that will appear on the upcoming LP A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, out November 10th.
The record pairs Franklin's classic vocal takes with new arrangements from the Royal Philharmonic. On "Think," the Orchestra opens with a punchy blast of horns, strings and piano that builds with a touch of unease before segueing seamlessly into a steady groove. The Royal Philharmonic continues to buoy Franklin's vocals with plenty of grandeur, while singer Patti Austin and her crew of backing vocalists give the song a choral charm.
Along with "Think," A Brand New Me features new renditions of "Respect," "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)" and "Angel," as well as Franklin's versions of "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)" and "Let It Be."
"There is nothing more exciting than that incredible voice taking you on an emotional roller coaster ride through her amazing repertoire of songs," said Nick Patrick, who co-produced A Brand New Me with Don Reedman. "To have the opportunity to work with that voice on this project has been the greatest honor and to hear a symphony orchestra wrapped around those performances is breathtaking."
Prior to A Brand New Me, the Royal Philharmonic released two albums featuring new arrangements with old Elvis Presley vocal takes, 2015's If I Can Dream and 2016's The Wonder of You. Earlier this year, the Orchestra teamed with the family of Roy Orbison for a similar compilation, A Love So Beautiful, while an Elvis Christmas album was released on October 6th.