on 4 August 2002
I read some time ago,somewhere,on the web or on a music magazine
about this excellent offering "This is Regina",which probably didn't get,at the very beginning,the right and the wide attention that it deserved.
I bought it lately,on the wave of a massive airplay on all the smooth jazz radio stations.
I must say that I like this album and I think that Ms.Belle is doing a great job also on this side of the Atlantic,gathering together her love of funk,jazz and r'n'b into a music which is totally intoxicating!
Deep grooves,passionate phrasing,heatfel melodies.
Who can deny the beauty of the smash hits like "Oooh boy","From now on",or other tracks like "You said","Someone who needs me"(with Will Downing),"Johnny's back"?...I truly believe that at
least one more single hit is the making!And the Grammys are not that far!
In my modest opinion Regina has never been exceptional in a very short run.Also,she is NOT for every listener,she doesn't push to please everybody and sell some more CDs...she plays what she wants to play.IS THAT WRONG?She is not Britney,she is not Ashanti.She is not a "three months time" chart bestseller!
She is a classy vocalist.
She is Regina Belle and because of that she can even choose a small,indie label with no promotion budget to deliver her 'not commercial' ideas about how to make modern music.
And this is the reason why NOW people respond,slowly but constantly and massively,to her great songs and buy her CD.
on 26 October 2002
With her new album "This is Regina",Regina Belle,one of the most loved contemporary vocalists proved herself a jazz/soul artist of immense talent,with great melodic boldness coupled to an excellent pop singer's ear for a communicative song.
Billie Holiday often comes to mind and Belle's hit song "Oooh Boy" is probably a future standard.
Often linked to Celine Dion (both the vocalists reached the stardom with Walt Disney's film productions,but Celine was unexpectedly blessed by more luck) for the incomparable elasticity and power of their prodigious vocals,Regina has to think now that it's time for her to start to work on a new,more jazz oriented project,following the step of her clever peer Natalie Cole...
If in the pop arena she has to compete with best-selling,commercial artists with little substance,beeing a full-fledged jazz super-vocalist,focused totally on the songs and on singing more than on the pop chart,Regina will reign supreme and with no contenders at all.
on 6 November 2003
After Regina Belle's powerful musical positioning on the very top of the world of Pop/Soul/Jazz around the turn of the early nineties,things changed.
For what reasons ( maybe the marketing issues,maybe her recording label's management,maybe her natural reluctance to put on a record something too commercial or simply what she doesn't like to sing...),it's not our tale to phatom.
What is significant, is that Belle is back with a totally twenty-first century answer to the twentieth century foxes.
'This Is Regina'is a journey into some straight-from-the-heart Soul/Jazz music tinged with a shade of bubbly undercurrents.
GREAT ! A well crafted album with hertfelt melodies,fantastic vocals by a Lady in stunning form - we've been waiting for it.
The tracks "Oooh Boy','From Now On','Johnny's Back' will mean as much as Regina Belle old-time favourites such as 'Baby come to me','Show me the way','So many tears','Make it like it was','A whole new world','What goes around','If I could',which were the rage of the day at one point of time...
'Someone who needs me' and 'Don't wanna go home' are other notheworthy mentionables.
But,above all that,it's Regina's SUPERNATURAL singing and unique
phrasing which make everything shine.
An excellent idea would be an album with all her best hits REMIXED !
Are you,at 'Peak-Concord Jazz',listening ??!!
on 28 February 2003
The supreme Soul songstress offers a fresh and compelling new sound in R'n'B/Jazz music with this stunning,very cool album 'This is Regina'.
Twelve songs of love,desire,longing,laughter and believe wrapped in melodies soothing to the soul.
Features both small group and lush arrangements by renowned producer Barry Eastmond,plus two special duets with Soul crooner
Glenn Jones on "From now on" and with jazz vocalist Will Downing on "Someone who needs me".
Regina Belle is at the forefront of today's 'smooth'
vocal explosion on radio,while capturing a timeless quality in her music.
I highly recommend this relaxing,enjoyable CD .
on 23 July 2002
Soulful,traditional and extremely honest,this superb album of 12 songs confirms Regina Belle as one of our foremost female jazzy singers.She carries the torch so brightly lit by the likes of Billie Holiday,Sarah Vaughan,Nancy Wilson,Roberta Flack and Anita Baker.
Beautiful songs range from the hit "Oooh boy" to the excellent duet "From now on" with Glenn Jones,to the irresistible "Johnny's back". In few words,this CD offers true artistry and a complete picture to date of a songstress still very much on the way up.
on 24 August 2002
The soaring beauty of the human voice finds its most articulate expression in this collection of songs impeccably performed by maybe the true,last DIVA of Soul/Jazz.
The album is a fusion of contemporary R'n'B,Soul and Jazz with an
incredibly emotional depth.
She sounds gorgeous as always,and shows the potential to overtake all the other post-Patti Austin/Anita Baker soul/jazz vocalists.This is an album that can be appreciated on two levels :not just the radio-friendly melodies but also the sophisticated accompaniment.
Just to name some tracks : "You said","Take my time","Johnny's back"...so nice !
on 17 November 2003
Why do record companies put so much of their money and energy into creating acts that are hugely,but only very briefly,successful ?
Sooner or later the record industry will have to throw out its current business model,because listeners are more and more aware of the quality of the CDs that they may or want to buy.
Just let's think for a second about this fantastic vocalist,at the peak of her splendour and artistic maturity.
To date,as for Ms.Belle's music is concerned,nothing has changed.Her style,her range,her passion,her class : the modern reincarnation of Billie Holiday.
She sings,they listen and nothing else matters but the music.
The healing touch will always be there...
This CD is not a masterpiece,and yet a sample of a class act,which remains untouched by the highest and greatest accolades.
on 11 January 2004
This CD will put you in a very,very good mood - guaranteed !
No one should miss it !
It's a collection of twelve beautiful,jazzy,heartfelt,soulful tunes which will be the perfect soundtrack for the perfect day.
The versatility,class,and spirit of this fabulous chanteuse,the distinctive sound of the musicians and her sublime voice are totally intriguing .
I hope that for her next offering she will be allowed to choose a better material and work together with her label mates such as Phil Perry,Miki Howard,Russ Freeman,Eric Marienthal,Gato Barbieri,the Braxton Brothers...
Anyway,this is the album for a good start for the New Year 2004 !
on 6 August 2002
I must confess that I bought "This is Regina" purely based on the "word of mouth" custom,after some English friends' suggestions.It was an excellent purchase,indeed.
She is immediately recognizable and she is the admired"darling icon" for legions of gay music lovers all over the world.
No doubt,Ms.Belle has currently one of the top-notch voices on the planet,and her skills and sense of music are timeless and unique,beyond and above all trends,fashions and styles(Pop,Smooth Jazz,Old School,Neo-School,Soul,Quiet Storm,Urban Adult Contemporay...).
Maybe now it's time for her to move to a higher ground,jazz,and make a jazz covers album,AT LAST!
I am pretty sure that she can do a very good job in the jazz field,too(how can we forget what she was able to do on the tribute album"To Grover,with love",playing along with S.Cole and G.Duke "Just the two of us"?).Mesmerising!
And that track(along with some songs from "This is Regina") is still on the top of Contemporay jazz and Soul charts all over the world,most notably in EUROPE,yes in our Europe!
Top jazz radio stations,like Jazz FM in UK or Radio Capital in Italy,still have(after months from its release) the track"Just the two of us"in their August playlists!
It means that it works!
Check it out ,mates!Please!|
on 27 November 2002
I am pretty upset when they say that her vocals' style is reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Anita Baker : her voice and sounds are uniquely her own !
This great record displays an extremely confident vocalist with a slightly theatrical flair (which comes from her classical and opera studies),equally comfortable with smooth adult contemporary balladry and jazz,although in my opinion her true affinity seems to be for the latter.
Despite the smashing airplay hits such as "Oooh Boy","From now on",and "Johnny's back",she is missing the sort of commercial,killer chart singles. But,thank God,Regina is not Mariah Carey or Celine Dion with their ups and downs !
Cultured,sophisticated fans of that style may want to check this 'dream' album out !