Pulse: 60-Second Critic: Legend
Patti LaBelle Recipes for the Good Life (Karen Hunter; $25) and Back to Now (Verve)
Patti LaBelle’s been busy, with a new cookbook, Recipes for the Good Life, and a fresh album. Fans may embrace her home-style, playfully self-referential recipes (see: Ooh-La-LaBelle Turkey Chili), but cooks will be less enthused: Dishes tend toward laboriousness, and many require LaBelle’s own line of ingredients, available only online. The album Back to Now, however, a reunion of her ’70s trio LaBelle (of “Lady Marmalade” fame), is totally satisfying. No song rises to “Marmalade” greatness, but the album — produced by Gamble & Huff, Lenny Kravitz and Wyclef Jean — combines their trademark soul-funk-disco sound with gospel, social commentary and a dance-club anthem. We predict a Grammy nom.
Book Grade: C+
Album Grade: A