Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her voice is liquid gold....., 15 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Lazy Afternoon (Audio CD)
When I discovered this CD (surprisingly, it was not promoted at all on TV, radio, in musical magazines or internet sites, NOTHING - just 'word of mouth') I approached it gingerly, in exactly the same way as I did with Carly Simon's "Moonlight Serenade" album and with Rod Stewart's unfamous offerings. "Oh God!" I thought, "here we go again, this'll be a washout - same old stuff rehashed". But I was WRONG!
This is no meandering MOR (Middle of the Road) set as I had feared, but a CLASSIC and ESSENTIAL album of interpretations that will be loved, played and cherished by lovers of soul, jazz, standards and almost anyone with a tasteful bone in their body for generations to come.
These are much loved songs written by great composers like the Gershwins, the Isley Brothers, John Latouche/Jerome Moross, Bart Howard.. These songs have been recorded by classic quality artists such as Frank Sinatra,Tony Bennett,Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, Bobby Daring, Sarah Vaughan and Barbra Streisand, among others.
Along comes Regina Belle, who takes these famous songs and remoulds them into an intoxicating blend of quality music, backed up by full orchestration. Regina gives us a performance of a LIFETIME.
Here, in my opinion, we are in a higher plane, in a far superior league with Regina in an emotional, wistful, teasing and creative mood. This is in marked contrast to the crass, commercial and unsophisticated acts which rule the charts nowadays....
I clicked on the sound samples on Amazon and headed for the tracks that I was unfamiliar with. Let's just say that 10 seconds into the title track and tears had welled up and caught a lump in my throat. Within seconds I knew this was something very, very special and on hearing "For The Love Of You" and "Fly Me To The Moon", I was completely and utterly sold. It was, needless to say, an immediate purchase, and I do mean immediate (damn the fact I really could not afford it this month).
Recall, if you will, masterpieces from her previous recordings like "Someday We'll All Be Free/Save The Children" from her album "Stay With Me", and especially her version of Grover Washington/Danny Hathaway's "Just The Two Of Us", from the tribute album "To Grover,With Love". If you know and love those songs then you know what territory we are in with Regina's latest album.
Every track is a pure gem in its most exquisite form, and with Regina liquid gold voice, this is indeed an album that will be in my top 20 if not top 10 of 2005. Hard to pick out favourites, but apart from the two gems already mentioned I have to say that "The Man I Love" is just fantastic, beyond all expectations. "Why Do People Fall In Love" with its lush backing is an immediate head-turner and full credit goes to all the wonderfully talented members of the band for their fantastic sound. I thought that "Try A Little Tenderness" and the Tony Bennett rendition of "What Are You Afraid Of", could NEVER be given a decent workout, but George Duke and Regina weave pure musical magic into these.
I was bowled over even more by the heavenly version of "If I Should Lose You" - with nothing but George Duke's gorgeous piano playing - and Regina's effortless, emotional vocals which brought tears to my eyes. What's wrong with that? Isn't that what great music is supposed to do?
What else can I say other than just buy this CD? It dissolves all boundaries of past, present and future; it's a true work of art, perfectly crafted, and will continue to fill me with pleasure for the rest of my listening life. Quality always stands the test of time, and this will never, ever age.
MANDATORY.(10)
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