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4.4 out of 5 stars
Let Them Talk
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Showing 1-10 of 23 reviews(3 star)show all reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2011
I'm impressed by the quality of the recording of these sessions and of course the musicianship is top drawer. The choice of tracks is brilliant and conveys HL's love of the genre very well.

My only concern is with his voice. Its more of an 'impression' of other singers than his own voice in my view. The Pseudo american accent is a little annoying and his vocal performance, is as you would expect from someone who hasnt recorded much before, a little amateurish

But all of that wont take away from my overall enjoyment of the album. Is it just a cash in on House? No of course not and HL has dont a lot here to open the genre to a wider audience for which he should be applauded.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2011
My review is mainly about the quality of sound. I naively thought that this being a blues/jazz/country release that it would be immune to the over compression used on most pop music records today. Unfortunately, this album is as crushed as any other release, which is a real shame because this album has great songs (the Ray Charles's cover "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" being my favourite), nice arrangements, decent musicianship and cool guests. It's pretty much unlistenable on headphones, but bearable through loudspeakers. Shame.
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on 10 January 2012
I like Hugh Laurie. He's clever and talented and seems like a good bloke.

Listening to this album though, for me he comes with baggage since I keep remembering all the parody songs he used to do on piano and guitar on 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie'. You can still find all these on Youtube.

So I have to keep putting them to the back of my mind, and think 'this is real'.

His accent jars as well, I still can't think of it as 'American' , and this is the baggage which comes from 'House'.

I wonder what anyone thinks who has never seen or heard Hugh Laurie before?

Final reason why I want to like it more but I can't is some of the production/arrangement/musicianship isn't that great.

It's jazz/blues so should be loose , but on several tracks you get the impression (for example) there's a bloke with a guitar and he's determined to play it a bit on a song , when it doesn't need it.

It reminds me of Paul MacCartney saying of George Harrison that when MacCartney started playing the opening of 'Hey Jude' , George wanted to put a bit of guitar 'twiddle' at the end of each line - which just wouldn't be right.

Despite all this , there are some great songs , just disappointing that Hugh was short-changed on the production and musicians somewhat.
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on 19 April 2012
I bought this as a present for my wife after she heard some clips on the radio last year and quite liked it, I baulked at the usual initial price upon release for what I considered to be simply a covers album, but now it has come down to quite a reasonable one, plus this being the limited edition package with DVD, it seemed worth a punt.

So what can I say which hasn't already been said, it's amiable enough stuff, certainly the material chosen demonstrates the Hugh has enough taste and indeed talent, especially on the piano, to justify its release. Basically the only issue is his singing voice, or should I say his singing accent, and for me it works best when Irma Thomas and Tom Jones are handling the vocal duties instead. However, if the thought of House MD singing old ragtime tunes and blues standards sounds attractive then this is the album for you.

BTW The 3 star rating doesn't necessarily imply that this is somehow a sub-quality release but simply reflects the fact that in the great firmament of music this is never going to be top drawer and 3 stars is probably being on the generous side but Amazon doesn't allow for any finer granularity than that.
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on 13 May 2015
This is a fairly polished production and it certainly has its merits. Hugh can play, the Copper Bottom Band can certainly sing and play. The thing is, that Hugh's voice simply isn't up to the same high standard, and no one seems to have dared to tell him that. He sounds like he's 'acting to sing' because what comes out isn't from deep within, but caught in the top of his throat in all respects. It's passable, but not professional, and it sticks out a mile as the weak point in the line-up -- which is a rather odd thing to come from the front man.

It also became rather monotonous to hear the same scratchy vocals from one similar-sounding track to the next. They tried to break it up with tracks fronting female vocalists, but there just isn't enough variation for interest. There's potential for development here, but it is entirely dependent on Hugh getting some help to develop his voice; otherwise it is project over for me. As much as I would like to support him, I couldn't buy another like this.
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on 28 July 2012
I am a fan of the blues and must say this album is technically very good, and Hugh Laurie sings very well.

Like another reviewer I do find the US fake accent a little annoying, but understandable.

My main negative is that I lose interest half way through and, much as I have no quibble with any of the tracks, I find it best to be selective. So an album you need to get to know well to enjoy to the max.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2011
Well I'm a little disappointed by the album. Not for the reasons that most are.

I don't mind that this is a celebrity, who is using his star-status to get an album made, despite having only average musicianship. It's a common enough occurance, and far from being the most offensive example. Let's face it, the Blues is a genre in which the 'professional' exponents are generally self taught, don't do hours of practise a day, and where 'feel' is often more important than technique. There have been examples of celebrities straying into fields where technique was much more the order of the day, and using their status to be allowed to do it, ahead of millions who could have done it better (who let Dudley Moore record that absolutely piggin' awful version of Grieg's Piano Concerto for example?) Not only that, but Hugh had some immense session musicians on the recording. So, musically I got exactly what I expected - a reasonable, though not great singer, with some extremely well-crafted backing.

Nor do I mind that the album can't make its mind up whether it's Blues, Jazz or, occasionally, Country. The attitude that music has to be made in pre-formed molds is rather naive, and, when found amongst music educators, is what has held up the progress of composition througout history. Music should evolve, and, if anything, I'd have liked to have heard more originality.

What bothers me slightly, though, is the sound. When they were touting the album on all kinds of chat shows, the live mixing was very gritty. The kit, in particular, often sounded 'trashy,' huge, and gritty, a bit more like a Tom Waits stomp. So I bought the album, and someone has polished it to within an inch of its life. It's like someone took a really earthy, gutsy sound and tried to turn it into Justin Bieber.

So it kind of killed it for me. It's now kind of a non-entity. Musically there's better stuff around, production-wise there is certainly better stuff, and often combined in the same album, so why buy this one? Go try Tom Waits for your music, and Hugh Laurie for well-written TV drama.
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on 30 August 2011
Although I enjoyed the various tracks, I found the TV programme of Hugh Laurie's travels to, and his work in, New Orleans, far superior. As a youngster in the 1940's the music I remember was not truly represented on this CD. However, these tracks were Hugh's choices, and I respect that. I sincerely hope this talented guy gives us more of his New Orleans sounds some day.
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Don't get me wrong in the star rating I enjoyed this CD I just thought it wasn't quite there. it took me a few plays to get into it but once there more than ok.. The arrangements are quite different to the one's you are used to and this I found enjoyable. just compared to similar music was three stars for me.
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on 1 December 2011
Saw tv. Very impressed . Bought cd. oh dear. Monotonous mid atlantic nasal drawl. Not terribly musical not very musically inventive.wanted more of the musicians who figured on tv particularly woman singer who was terrific. Poor not very informative sleeves. Oh dear. Bit like john sons dog.
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