What'cha Gonna Do With This Decoders & Alex Isley Refix?

Monday, April 1, 2013


No April Fooling here.

I noted the rise of Alex Isley (yes, she's the daughter of guitarist Ernie Isley of the legendary Isley Brothers) when she dropped her self-written and self-produced debut EP, the Love/Art Memoirs, a year ago. I confess I wasn't totally moved, but right now, she's got my undivided attention as she joined The Decoders for an interesting take on Chaka Khan's 1981 hit, "What'cha Gonna Do For Me".

Coincidentally, last week I was listening to a ton of Rufus & Chaka Khan, and since they are one of my all-time favorite groups, and Ms. Khan is one of my all-time favorite singers, I came to this re-fashion from sort of a critical zone. Safe to say that I'm digging the slight Reggae edge this song now has along with the lush horn work and sonic synth touches. Even though Ms. Isley doesn't possess the brassy vocals of Chaka, still it's quite alright as her velvety tone adds a different and welcomed dimension. Actually I'm even more pleased that they dug around in Chaka's catalog and settled on grabbing this lesser known classic, as I often feel it's misbegotten along with the album it derives from.


Oh, and I couldn't walk away from this without posting Chaka Khan giving an amazing live performance of the track circa '81 with the Brecker Brothers. So for comparative/fun purposes, have at it after the cut.


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