Most helpful critical review
I'm crazy for trying, and crazy for crying... but I must have been out of my mind to buy this
on 22 April 2014
While it is true to say that I bought this while languishing in the depths of some rather significant, ex-wife related, romantic despair, I would not call the majority of the tracks on this 5 disc set particularly 'Sad'. In fact, I'm really not at all sure why I even sent for it, given that a lot of the songs I had actually heard of don't seem to necessarily be associated with the artists I might have been expecting: and the ones I had no prior knowledge of whatsoever did not exactly leave me wanting to pull my curtains, turn my phone off, flick through my wedding photos and bawl my eyes out.
As far as my 'significant romantic despair' is concerned, I think that's probably a good thing. As far as these 'Sad Songs' are concerned though, I'm not so sure.
For the life of me, I can't quite identify a theme or a pattern in the track selections of any of the discs. It's a bit of a hodgepodge, in all honesty. They could, quite easily, have divided things up so that there was a disc of Country and Jazz songs, a disc of 70s and 80s songs, a disc of 90s and 00s songs, a disc of covers of songs by people I really don't know from Adam, and a disc of singers who I DO know from Adam but who are to be found here in the company of songs made famous by somebody else entirely. The compilers could have done that. It certainly would have saved my nose-picking finger from having to find serious secondary employment aboard the fast forward button.
Ah, I DO remember why I felt the need to send for this now... 'Stay' by Shakespears Sister. Although I've already got enough copies of that song knocking about to play a different one every hour for half a day or more. Apart from the draw of Siobhan Fahey then, plus the presence of The Bangles' quite beautiful 'Eternal Flame' and the amazing 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline, I'm baffled as to why I saw fit to part with almost ten big ones for this product. I daresay someone could have flogged me London Bridge or a timeshare apartment in Magaluf while I had my credit card out on that occasion, since my common sense had obviously taken a short-term sabbatical from the scene.
These songs could, in my opinion, serve as background music for anything from a dinner party to a romantic evening with a significant other. But that is not really a compliment. These songs are simply not powerful enough, for the most part, to grab the listener's attention to the extent that the lyrics (which, presumably, would be where all the 'sadness' might be lurking) become overwhelmingly important to want to wallow in. 'Without You' by Nilsson is a bit of an exception, but it seems to force its way into so many compilation albums that I think I must just be completely immune to its effects by now.
On the positive side, I have been looking up some of these hitherto-completely-unknown-to-me singing artists on the internet and one or two of them are, to put it bluntly, drop dead gorgeous. Marina Berry for one, who does a very good job of bringing new energy to 'Nobody Does It Better'. A lady called Jamie O'Neal (who is equally gorgeous) gives Celine Dion a run for her money at the helm of 'All By Myself', which does at least spare us from having to listen to Eric Carmen's version; that one gets around almost as much as 'Without You' by Harry Nilsson.
Prior to taking delivery of this product, I never would have envisaged myself typing the words 'Soggy Bottom Boys' into my computer and, having done so now, I can't say I'm really any the wiser as to who the men behind 'I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow (a far from tearjerking little number) actually are. Ditto a man named Lance Pierce, who takes 'This Guy's In Love With You' and does, well, not very much at all with it really.
There are some great songs on here. There are also some songs (and, most particularly, VERSIONS of songs) that would not be missed if every copy of them in existence was loaded onto a rocket and blasted into deep space.
No? Oh well, that must just be me then.