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The Sweetest Illusion
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The Sweetest Illusion

3 May 1994 | Format: MP3

£6.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 May 1994
  • Release Date: 3 May 1994
  • Label: Epic
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 52:37
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001GTLC5G
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,213 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jan Johnson on 16 Nov. 2004
Format: Audio CD
It is true that 'The Sweetest Illusion', which is Basia's third studio album, failed to generate the sales of the earlier albums 'Time and Tide' and 'London Warsaw New York'. Nevertheless 'The Sweetest Illusion' represents Basia's most creative work to date. It is a definite move away from the 'Matt Bianco Sound' with which she will always be associated, but which is not truly representative of the bulk of her solo work. Basia never seemed truly happy with producing songs purely for commercial gain and this is evident in her live performances, where the likes of singles such as 'Prime Time TV' are always noticeable by their absence.

My personal favourite from this album is 'Drunk on Love' purely because of the melody and the inspired lyrics. Basia truly speaks from the heart when she sings of love, and the sadness of her tone generally speaks much of unrequited love or of passion which has not endured the test of time. But 'Drunk on Love' is a much happier song as it tells of the feelings associated with the first flush of new love. Another favourite is 'More Fire Than Flame'. The song has punch, and it's not just the tempo. I am always amazed that this was never included as part of the set for the live concert featured on the 'Basia on Broadway' album, but I guess this lady has too many good songs and this one just missed the cut.

Some of Basia's more commercial work has rapidly dated, but such is the quality of the old standards that these albums will never go out of date. If you drive as much as I do you cannot do better than to have 'The Sweetest Illusion' in your CD player.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "matthewjarrett71" on 21 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have to profoundly disagree with the previous reviewer. Basia's vocal talents are never in doubt, but what about the amazing craftsmanship of her songs, and also the heartfelt lyrics which so effortlessly tell the stories of life to which we can all relate so easily? There is not a song on this album which is overproduced; indeed it is the perfect production which is one of the strengths of this album.
'Third Time Lucky' is surely one of the best pop songs ever made, from the opening whistles to the latin guitar intro, and Basia's unmistakable humming, to the opening lyrics 'First one, it's a shock / second helping, not good enough / third time lucky and you've arrived' - all about the rewards that can be reaped from never giving up on your hopes. 'Yearning' is also an amazingly beautiful ballad, surely one of the best by a female vocalist ever. In fact, the album is worth the money for these 2 songs alone, so why not listen and judge for yourself?
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
Basia, the Polish chantuese, has an excellent singing voice, and this CD has good production values, if you like your music over dubbed and over produced. Unfortunately, Basia has failed to capture my heart, as I simply did not enjoy her music. It reminded me of nightclub lounge music, which has never been my cup of tea. There is not one track on this CD that I would listen to more than once. That is not to say that Basia is not talented. On the contrary, this woman from Poland can sing. It is just that the music she sings does absolutely nothing for me. Sorry, Basia.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 44 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Larry L. Looney - Published on
Format: Audio CD
There aren't many artists who can pull off a combination like this to suit me. I have little patience for overtly commercial music - I generally find it vapid and boring. However, Basia and her musical/life partner Danny White came up with a complete winner when they recorded this disc - there were flashes of brilliance on all of her previous recordings, but this one hits the mark dead center. The key here, I think, is the combined effects of Basia's incredible voice, the tunes (mostly by Basia and White) and the lyrics (mostly by Basia). A couple of the tunes have lyrics written by Peter Ross - and while these are nice, the ones that work the best (at least for this reviewer) are the ones she wrote herself. They allow her personality and outlook to come through in the songs, and this sets them above the output of most artists that are this pop-oriented.
Basia's lyrics address the depths and heights of life and love - the joy and pain, the longings, the successes and failures, the very humanity. Her view of life is refreshingly full of wide-eyed, joyful surprise at all that life has to offer - the gratitude she feels for the life she has been gifted is expressed poignantly again and again in these songs. The words co-exist comfortably with the lush, elegant, jazz-based arrangements (by Danny White). His charts are absolutely perfect (wisely keeping Basia's vocals at the center of every track), the playing by all concerned is stellar, and the recording is crystalline - all adding up to an extremely enjoyable experience for the listener.
It's hard to miss the pure joy she feels in making this music - listen to her playful mimicry of the horns, her interaction with them, on the opening track `Drunk on love'. The incredible ability she displays in doing this so well is almost totally eclipsed by the fun she's having - and that's a wonderful thing for a listener to be able to share with an artist.
The traditional Polish accordion piece (`Rachel's wedding') that bridges `She deserves it' with the following track, `An olive tree', is a nice touch - the first song deals with a woman's fulfillment in life and love astonishing her with its power; the latter song centers around an image of the singer following the advice of a friend, to embrace an olive tree in the hope of it bringing her luck in life and love. `Perfect mother' and `The prayer of a happy housewife' celebrate the gentle wonders that can fill and enrich our lives before we recognize them - it's beautiful to hear them lauded so sincerely, without once giving the impression that the woman who sings them is anything but strong.
The tunes that work the least for me on this album are the ones, as I mentioned, with lyrics by Peter Ross - they just don't seem to me to convey as much of the singer's emotions and thoughts. They're certainly not what you would call `clunkers' - this is overall, I think, Basia's finest work. She hasn't made any new studio recordings since 1994 (with the exception of a tune here and there) - she's long over-due.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Another elegant, intoxicating work by Basia 31 May 2003
By David Kaminsky - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Basia and Sade both create gorgeous works seemingly irrespective of public taste, what's currently "hot" and "hip," and yet each of their CDs sound fresh and wonderful for many years after its initial release. You never get tired of listening to Basia or Sade, and it isn't just because they each put out new works so infrequently. The first time I heard "The Sweetest Illusion," I was, I'll admit, a little disappointed that the Brasilian influences were a bit more subtle than on previous works. I very quickly realized the power and depth of this album, however, and how much it demonstrates Basia's growth as a singer and songwriter. The songs are a bit longer and less pop-oriented than on the first two CDs. "Drunk on Love" and "Third Time Lucky" are witty and sophisticated, with irresistable melodies. She sings "third time lucky, and you've arrived," and I think that's very true of the artist herself on this CD. "Third Time Lucky" is classic Basia, with delicately-entwined harmonies, exotic, samba-soaked percussion, wonderful piano work by Danny White, and even a jubilant whistling hook, and the song's ending is jazzy and wild. "Yearning" is a long, slow-paced piece about finding a home in the heart of a loved one. It's a gorgeous, unforgettable ballad. "She Deserves it" is a gentle, bossa nova-esque duet with Trey Lorenz, and is juxtaposed with the instrumental "Rachel's Wedding." The link between the two is thematic, and it is a perfect wedding present for the lucky Rachel. "Hug an Olive Tree" is lively, fun, and exuberant, similar to the song "Copernicus" from the "London Warsaw New York" CD. "The Sweetest Illusion" begins with elegant strings before launching into an explosive tempo and intriguing lyrics (by Peter Ross) overlayed with Danny White's keyboard mayhem. The sound recaptures some of the frantic magic of Basia's Matt Bianco days. "Perfect Mother" is another very quiet and gentle number, full of beautiful harmonies, and obviously deeply personal. Next is the very upbeat "More Fire than Flame," which is heated up with lots of brass touches and a very urgent chorus. "Simple Pleasures" is yet one more lush, gentle bossa nova-like piece, evoking "Brave New Hope" from the previous CD. "My Cruel Ways" is, in my opinion, the strongest song on the CD. The lyrics are wise and personal, the strings rich and emotional, and the song brings the haunting bass lines from "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" to mind in places. The final track, "The Prayer of a Happy Housewife," is a simple, heartfelt message of gratitude for a wonderful life. I'm not completely bowled-over by this song, but the soaring, gospel-flavoured choruses anticipate the song "Clear Horizon" from her later greatest hits CD. Another remarkable work by an amazing artist.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Basia We Miss You! Please make more music! 6 Mar. 2003
By J. Rausch - Published on
Format: Audio CD
For the listener who is not yet familiar with Basia, let me try to put into words the unique experience. Basia is a Polish singer heavily focused on latin-flavored beats. Her beginnings with the invaluable music of Matt Bianco led to the release of only 4 studio albums, this being the latest. To the uninitiated this is likely the weakest of the four but still an outstanding production that warrants its place in any cd collection. The joy and playfulness of Baasia's music is rarely matched (perhaps best matched by Matt Bianco) and merits a listen for any fan of jazz, latin, vocalist, even dance music fan.
The worst thing that can be said about this cd is that it is the last one (studio album) she has released in nearly 10 years. Scoop it up today and join the movement to bring Basia back to the studio!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful and waiting 20 Sept. 2000
By K. Parsons - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The most wonderful CD I own (out of over a thousand titles)... Basia never ceases to amaze friends for whom I play her music for the first time. She definitely amazed me on this collection. Basia is a unique artist... definitely commercial, yet honest and very original. This work should put to rest the idea that slick, well produced music cannot be meaningful and moving. If this music fails to touch you, perhaps you might want to see if your heart is still beating... maybe they've "propped you up by the jukebox" and you're really dead. To the music: "Cruel Ways" is far and away my favorite song... and the way it is placed right next to "Happy Housewife" is rather touching. "Yearning" of course, is the signature song, "Drunk on Love" is the tour-de-force and "Olive Tree" the most energetic (and eclectic) song. "She Deserves It (Rachel's Wedding)" is a great cap to the beautiful and haunting "Take Him Back" from the previous CD and "Third Time Lucky" contains a most wonderful piano piece. The title track and "More Fire Than Flame" are good cuts, but not at the level of the rest of the CD. This is, however, a CD that seems to be best listened to whole... or at least three or four songs at a time. There have been many times that I have popped this CD into the car stereo and watched amazed as the music literally cancelled a bad mood or a depressing moment, replacing it with brilliance and energy. Turn it up... I dare you to keep your feet still! As for the "waiting"... well, six years and counting since Basia's last full length studio album. There is hope, as Joan Osborne finally released a new CD five years after the excellent "Relish", so maybe Basia is actually developing new music while doing the "family thing"... Could it be???????
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
You'll get the sweetest impression! 29 Jun. 2002
By Desianto Fajar W. - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album shows the great improvements of Basia. If you compare her voice in Time and Tide and London Warsaw New York to this, you will find that her voice has been developed very well. That's because of her hard work, besides the result of Tona de Brett's guidance.
Drunk on Love
Are you drunk on love? If you feel excited and somewhat younger, maybe you are! Be careful, don't jump the light! When you're listening to this song, maybe you will get an impression that Basia turn into a twenty something-year old women because of its catchy tune.
Third Time Lucky
"First one, it's a shock. A second helping, not good enough. Third time lucky, and you've arrived..." That's the beginning of the song Third Time Lucky by Basia Trzetrzelewska which reminds me of a kind of a riddle song in a language education program on TV; by using the words "first....second....and third". With her beautiful voice and the cheerful rhytm of "Basia-Nova", this song can turn sadness into happiness. The message in this song is that, don't be downhearted, next time will be better. After all, Third Time Lucky is a really beautiful song. All the musical instruments, from the clear cymbals, attractive guitar, trumpets, and piano, to the heavy-sounded bass, together with the beautiful voices and whistle are melted into one harmony, so colourful and cheerful. I can even imagine Basia's smiling face when she sings it.
A great song that can go very deep into your soul. It will thrill your feelings, arouse your emotions, and brings you into a mystical atmosphere. If you have ever watched its video clip, you will get much more sensation in it.
She Deserves It/Rachel's Wedding
This song has a calming tone. So peaceful and nice. My favorite part is the traditional song at the end of it. Is it a traditional Polish song, Polka, or what? Please, somebody tell me!
An Olive Tree
This energetic song can make you dance until you break your legs. Nice Latin touch blended with Jazz style. However, I often misplaced some parts of the lyric automatically, from 'hug an olive tree' into 'hug a Polish girl' (sorry!) because 'olive' and 'Polish' have the same 'oli'.
The Sweetest Illusion, More Fire than Flame, and My Cruel Ways
These three songs have almost the same characteristics. In my opinion, this is the weakness of this album. It seemed that Basia lost her characteristics in them. For somebody who doesn't know Basia's voice well, he or she will guess that the singer is not Basia.
Perfect Mother
The warmest song in this album. Slow Bossas with soft but strong voice. I never know if there is the video clip for it. But I can imagine that the video clip will be some pictures of a mother hugging her baby with love, slow motion, fade-in and fade-out, and smooth, warm color.
Simple Pleasure
I really like the blending style in this song. It has an almost same characteristic as Perfect Mother. Warm and soothing. Now, Basia persuade someone with a softer and indirect way (see my review on Not An Angel, LWNY). My favorite part is the instrumental section in this song.
The Prayer of a Happy Housewife
This song has a unique style; it has an atmosphere of 1970's songs. If you're not careful enough, you will think that the song is from 1970's. But the sound of five or six-string bass reveals the truth that it is a 1990's song. For all housewives all over the world, you have to listen to this, to learn how to say thanks for the lives you've got in an enjoyable way.
Despite of its weakness, The Sweetest Illusion has a big plus mark in its musical instruments. All songs in it use full band, not the programmed one. It makes the songs more realistic and colorful. If you like something sweet, here's one for you!
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