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Reviews Written by
David W. Bruce-Casares (Long Beach, California United States)
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Soul Searching
Soul Searching
Offered by AbundaTrade
Price: 0.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut -- can't wait for her sophomore effort, 15 Mar 2006
This review is from: Soul Searching (Audio CD)
A beautiful blend of soul, RnB, and smooth jazz from Chicago-based singer/songwriter Janvier Jones. This, her debut album, demonstrates her talent as both a singer and a songwriter. She wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, and sings in a melodious and sweet-sounding voice. Definitely worth checking out this winner of an independent release.


Jane McDonald
Jane McDonald
Offered by Quick Discount Sales
Price: 3.05

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jane's recordings need to be available in the US!, 30 July 2005
This review is from: Jane McDonald (Audio CD)
I discovered Jane McDonald purely by accident, and was immediately enthralled. I had no preconceived notions (didn't know who she was), so I could simply enjoy her heartfelt singing. There are many high points to this album, notably her sensitive reading of "The Twelth of Never" -- never heard such a simple and lovely rendition of this song -- as well as, "Have I Told You Lately". The low points are primarily "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman", mostly due to the copycat karaoke-like backup and background vocals, and "Downtown," which sounds uninspired. I know this is Jane's debut, and what else I've heard of her I quite like. Let's hope that her recordings get distributed here in the US -- why keep her voice and talent across the Atlantic (across 'the pond'?).


Dana Owens Album
Dana Owens Album
Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: 11.66

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Queen Dana *can* sing!!!, 30 July 2005
This review is from: Dana Owens Album (Audio CD)
Dana's vocals are the best part of this album. Though, the arrangements don't tread any new ground, they do allow her vocal talent to take center stage. Let's hope this is not a one-off project for her singing.


Simply Believe
Simply Believe

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough high points, 30 July 2005
This review is from: Simply Believe (Audio CD)
By my putting this into my 'pans' category, I'll probably be shot by other Bonnie Tyler fans. Not to say that there aren't high points on this disc -- there most certainly (esp. her French duet covers of a couple of her old hits), but not enough to make this keep this release afloat for me. I've liked Bonnie for years, and was overwhelmed with her 2003 release, HEART & SOUL (also called HEARTSTRINGS in some countries), which still outshines this 2004 release.


Spirit Pop
Spirit Pop
Price: 22.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Sorely needed, 29 July 2005
This review is from: Spirit Pop (Audio CD)
Okay, I've pooh-poohed many a Christian artist for what I take as peachiness, I don't find anything remotely preachy in this release. First, they're unique in that they're a committed gay couple making music of a spiritual nature, where many just focus on the religious aspect, and neglect the spiritual (not to mention narrow-mindedness). While none of these songs are amazing, there's just something to them that I absolutely adore. I'm especially taken with the track, "All I Long For" -- while this could be considered a plea to a higher power, it also comes across as a love declaration between Jason and deMarco. Additionally, there's an overwhelming sense of the positive in this release, which is sorely needed in the pop world.


Free Yourself
Free Yourself
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: 7.02

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of talent, 29 July 2005
This review is from: Free Yourself (Audio CD)
This is an album that I had high expectations for, but it seems that (other than a couple tracks, which she'd performed on American Idol) the label pushed to try and fit a lowest common denominator urban mold. Rarely is she given the opportunity to sing more than 2-3 words before the background vocalists take over the lion's share of the singing. This kid has the chops, but being a newbie had to go where they sent her. Not horrid, but not worth searching out either (wait a few months, and I'm guessing it'll hit the cutout and discount bins).


Reflections of Rosemary
Reflections of Rosemary
Price: 7.89

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 29 July 2005
This review is from: Reflections of Rosemary (Audio CD)
I never would have thought back in 1977 when I heard Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" that she would end up releasing an artistic achievement like her latest release, REFLECTIONSOF ROSEMARY. Oh, I knew Debby could sing, and could (when allowed) actually put something in to a song (mostly notably "The Promise" on her early-80s self titled album), but was I in for a very pleasant surprise upon hearing this new album. I bought it based on a friend's recommendation, and what a great treat it was, indeed!
Debby's voice has grown and has obtained colors not hinted at when she burst on the scene 28 years ago. And, she uses it to great affect now - most notably when she goes into her lower register, which is full and warm. Part of the success of this album also lies in the marvelous material, excellent arrangements and playing, as well as Debby's loving attention to the songs. It is audible that she has an emotional connection with the material, which I'm sure helped that these songs were in tribute to her late mother-in-law, Rosemary Clooney.
Tribute albums abound, and many are exceedingly good (notably, Bette Midler's Rosemary Clooney tribute from 2003). And like Bette, Debby does not try to replicate Rosemary's deliveries, but makes each song her own, while delving into vocal territory previously unheard (by me, anyway) from her. Her connection with the lyrics of each song are astounding - a lot of these songs I've known for years, but this was the first time that I 'got' songs such as "I'll Be Home" (brilliantly delivered) and "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" (which is intelligently coupled with "It Never Entered My Mind").
The only track that didn't quite seem up to the par of the rest of the album was "It Might As Well Be Spring" - though Debby sings is lovingly, I didn't get a connection with the lyric from her, which comes through on every other track (note: there is a great alto flute solo on this track by Dan Higgins - in a Herbie Mann mode).
And, there's nothing like sibling harmonies - Debby tackles "Mood Indigo" radiantly with her sisters (they all had previously performed as The Boones, and were featured on Debby's debut album in 1977).
The true capper for this brilliant achievement, for me, is "You Are There," which Debby infuses with emotion and reality (without being maudlin) - all this done with simple piano accompaniment.
The hidden track of Rosemary Clooney's homemade a capella version of "Blue Skies" is cute, and fits with Debby's explanation that Rosemary had recorded this for Debby's son, Jordan (Rosemary's grandson), but could easily get tiresome on repeated listenings.
Now that Debby's children are grown, I hope this release is a precursor for more good things to come from her; a reinstated career, but this time as a jazz-cabaret vocalist who brings brilliance and true interpretive skills to her performances.


Tyler Hilton [Us Import]
Tyler Hilton [Us Import]
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 12.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth checking out..., 29 July 2005
I'd heard a few tracks from Tyler's commercially released CD, THE TRACKS OF TYLER HILTON, was impressed and bought this title on a whim. If I didn't know, I'd never have guessed that this guy was a teenager when he wrote and recorded these tracks. Though, some of the lyrics confirm his age at the time slightly, the performances are so well done and heartfelt, that one forgets (gladly) that the song's author and performer was a teenager. The song styles cover the gamut of folk, country, pop, and rock with stylistic ease and panache. Tyler has one of those 'one too many filterless cigarettes' voices, but in a good way: there's just enough scratch to give his voice, and performances, character. I hope that Maverick will continue to allow this artist to grow, because based on this independent release, he's definitely just begun. Well worth checking this release out.


Maiden Voyage
Maiden Voyage
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: 17.47

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to hear again!!!, 26 Jan 2004
This review is from: Maiden Voyage (Audio CD)
This album was Kellee's debut, and a great lite-jazz effort it was. With the exception of one track ("Soul Daddy (Lady)"), this still sounds current - not dated (it was originally released in 1973). Though, Kellee (former Miss Indiana) had the habit of attacking a note just under pitch, she never stayed that way, but hit each note correctly once her vibrato kicked in. True, her voice was on the nasal side, but it worked. She should have made more albums in this vein - not to take away from her other albums (especially her last two, which were more disco than jazz or R&B), but this release was the most cohesive. Even the lyrics were topical (i.e., "Magic Wand of Love"), but also timeless. This is probably the best sounding, sonically, of the reissues of Kellee's albums that I've heard. Her small catalog of releases should all be given the tender care that this stellar release was given. Whatever happened to Kellee Patterson?


Musicality
Musicality
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: 6.79

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's about time..., 24 Feb 2003
This review is from: Musicality (Audio CD)
Overall, I really like this release. She puts a new spin on some old theatrical chestnuts, especially "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart," "Nobody Does It Like Me" (this is, actually, my favorite on this disc right now), and "What I Did For Love." To me, the only missteps are her versions of "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" which I find it somewhat gutless, "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" where her voice just sounds too thin and somewhat strained on this -- all in a weak sounding head voice, and "The Winner Takes It All" where I again feel that her performance is somewhat gutless.
But, as I'm only disappointed in 3 tracks out of 16, overall I find this a triumph for her. And, I'm really glad that she recorded and released this (especially, after hearing she was considering not singing anymore).


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