The Dreamer - Etta James
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. The physical and even mental diminution enriches the music.
  2. 83
    Snarling through covers as far-flung as "Welcome to the Jungle" and Little Big Town's "Boondocks," James brings some welcome grit to the retirement-album game.
  3. Dec 12, 2011
    80
    A supremely sassy swansong. [Jan 2012, p.90]
  4. Nov 16, 2011
    80
    The production might be slick, but James relaxes into this framework, providing the necessary lived-in looseness.
  5. James's voice is slightly diminished but not so as to sound like anything other than itself. She's the real deal.
  6. 80
    As a swansong, it's as fine as might be expected given the circumstances.
  7. 75
    We get a career-twilight portrait of James and her darker-than-ever voice in a set of moody, bluesy and slow-jam groove numbers.
  8. 70
    On The Dreamer, James includes some unlikely song choices, and most of them work.
  9. Nov 9, 2011
    70
    The Dreamer is a fitting--if not perfect--bookend to one of American popular music's most iconic lives.
  10. Jan 31, 2012
    60
    James' final studio album is a sturdy effort that belies the catalog of increasingly serious health issues that have dogged her. [Feb 2012, p.102]
  11. Nov 11, 2011
    60
    The Dreamer is occasionally powerful and moving as James ranges across memorable songs including Otis Redding's Champagne & Wine.

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