Entertainment WeeklyRating: B+
Q - 11/94, p.1524 Stars
- Excellent - "...A sound that's fat and sharp at once - that's what peerless Nashville producer Barry Beckett gave Etta James in 1990..."
Down Beat - 9/904 Stars
- Very Good - "...an impressive new album...a gritty, cut-to-the-bone-of-raw-emotion collection of tunes..."
Stereo Review (11/90) - Performance "Vibrant" / Recording "Excellent" - "This woman has been a blessing to pop music since she recorded "The Wallflower (Dance with Me Henry) in 1954. Long may she thrive."
Recommended - "...she's right on target here."
Personnel includes: Etta James (vocals); Gary Burnette, Leo Nocentelli, Reggie Young, Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, Danny Rhodes, Arik Marshall, Josh Sklair (guitar); David L. Patterson (tenor & baritone saxophones); Gene Dinwiddie (tenor saxophone); Fernando Pullum (trumpet); John Dewey McKnight (trombone); Jimmie Wood (harmonica); Jimmy Pugh (piano, keyboards); Barry Beckett (keyboards); Mike Lawler (synthesizer); Michael Rhodes, Bobby Vega (bass); Roger Hawkins (drums); Greg "Smacky" Donerson (percussion); Dobie Gray, Def Jef (background vocals).
Producers: Barry Beckett, Kim Buie, Etta James.
Blues belter Etta James came off a long period of drug rehab to make a comeback in 1989 with her first post-Chess album, SEVEN YEAR ITCH, a roots-conscious recording for Island. The follow-up, STICKIN' TO MY GUNS, is quite a different affair. While James's singing style is unchanged, and as ferocious as ever, there's much more of a "contemporary" feel to the production, with aggressive beats, popping bass, digital-sounding recording, and even a guest rap interlude on one track. James would soon depart Island for Elektra.