Various : Funky Divas

Many of the artists on this compilation are neither funky nor divas. Go figure...

The goal of any compilation arranger should be the combination of range and cohesion. And this is something that this 38-track collection of ‘divas’ from virtually all walks of soul, dance, pop and R&B has not managed to achieve.

The title is not just misleading, it’s inaccurate, for many of these women are neither divas nor funky. True, in extreme circumstances the Honeyz could be called divas, but place them next to Angie Stone and they definitely are not. And Dido, whose ‘Here With Me’ opens the show, may have marched her indie-tones into the realms of hiphop megastardom, but ‘funky’ is not a word that comes to mind. As for Posh Spice, she could only ever be described as divarish by a 60-year-old librarian from Yorkshire.

Many of the names here are impressive: Destiny’s Child, Aretha Franklin, TLC, Nelly Furtado, Mary Mary, Leann Rimes, Toni Braxton, Christina Aguilera. But the range is simply too vast to satisfy. The punter who will get down to Chante Moore’s pop-lined ‘Straight Up’ is not the same punter who whirls to Moloko‘s tranceful ‘The Time Is Now’. Nor is s/he who meditates to ‘Here With Me’ likely to be moved by the shallow waters of Vanessa Amorosi’s irritating ‘Absolutely Everybody’ or Posh‘s even more irritating ‘Out Of Your Mind’.

Come on guys, hasn’t women’s lib advanced enough that there are far more imaginative, more discerning themes for female line-ups?

Diana Evans