- Audio CD (9 May 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Warner Bros
- ASIN: B004M7OLPM
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (509 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,894 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Let Them Talk CD
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Hugh Laurie will release his debut album "Let Them Talk" on Warner Bros Records. A glorious celebration of New Orleans blues, "Let Them Talk" unites Laurie’s musical talent with a very personal selection of standards and lost blues classics performed with his band of renowned musicians and some very special guest stars.
Produced by Joe Henry and recorded at sessions in Los Angeles and New Orleans, "Let Them Talk" sees Laurie on vocals and piano heading a team of musicians whose previous collective credits include work with artists as varied as Greg Allman, Solomon Burke, Robert Plant, kd lang, T-Bone Burnett, Alison Krause and John Legend. Together, they interpret and revive songs originally recorded by NOLA blues legends such as Lead Belly, Robert Johnson, Ray Charles and Memphis Slim.
‘Let Them Talk’ also features collaborations with the Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas and Sir Tom Jones on the little known ‘Baby, please Make A Change’. Thomas also leads the vocals on ‘John Henry’, while Laurie’s lifelong hero Dr. John provides a momentous collaboration on ‘After You’ve Gone’. Another legend, the producer, musician and songwriter Allen Toussaint, contributes horn arrangements throughout.
Hugh explains ..
“In my imagination, New Orleans just straight hummed with music, romance, joy, despair; its rhythms got into my gawky English frame and, at times, made me so happy and sad, I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” said Laurie. “I love this music as authentically as I know how, and I want you to love it too. If you get a thousandth of the pleasure from it that I’ve had, we’re all ahead of the game.”
Top Customer Reviews
The album won't suit some people's tastes, particularly those buying the album purely because it was made by Hugh Laurie of House fame. For me, I love the album because of the instrumental performances first and Laurie's voice second. Listening to the album it is clear that you're being taken to the New Orleans music soaked atmosphere and those who appreciate that type of music will love it. It's sincere and mixes joy and pain together very well whilst maintaining an air of sophistication possessed by someone who really does love the music he's performing - and no one can deny that Laurie is very talented, particularly on piano and guitar. Yes, the vocals are rough, but if they were polished and perfect I think that the album would be somehow be lacking, blues needs that feel of being performed after a heavy night of drinking in order to work properly.Read more ›
There's no denying he's a skilled pianist and he clearly isn't out of his depth surrounded by such notable musicians - all of whom play their socks off.
The 15 tracks on the album provide a pleasant mixture of material. If the saxed up Buddy Bolden's Blues or the moody 'Six Cold Feet' slow the tempo a little, there are several foot stomping tracks to follow, most notably the renditions of 'Swanee River' and 'Tipatina'.
I defy any of you to listen to these without tapping your foot.
Hugh Laurie's vocals are good he can certainly carry a tune - for any doubters it's clear on tracks such as 'The whale has Swallowed me' and 'The Battle of Jericho' that he can hold his own with little or no music accompaniment.
There will always be those who will question Hugh Laurie's credibility as "real" Blues Singer - some will see this as indulgent, others no doubt will bang on about class, background etc.
But let them talk ... I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album.
Hugh Laurie has had the chance to pay tribute to his musical heroes and if Let Them Talk introduces a new audience to Blues music then what a tribute that will be.
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.
Without "House", Laurie would never have been granted the opportunity to record an album like 2011's "Let Them Talk", a full-blooded immersion into American blues via New Orleans, shepherded by acclaimed roots producer Joe Henry and featuring such Big Easy heavy-hitters as Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, and Irma Thomas.
To his enormous credit, Laurie never sounds like a dilettante/amateurish among this group: he holds his own, working his way into the marrow of the songs, playing credible piano throughout the record.
Which isn't to say that he quite makes this selection of standards his own, either.
There are reworkings and reinterpretations, "Tipitina" in particular being turned on its head, but the problem with "Let Them Talk" isn't the guts and blood of the music, or the slightly studious air Henry cultivates.
No, the problem is how Laurie's blues accent inevitably slides into affectations quite familiar from "House".
He can't help it, that's his American accent, but it's disarming to have a number cooking along and all of a sudden Princeton Plainsboro's favorite misanthrope has taken the lead.
Favourite tracks : "St. James Infirmary", "You Don't Know My Mind", and "Buddy Bolden's Blues".
The Allen Toussaint Collection
...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unfortunately the CD was damaged and so I can't play some tracks. The seller would've known this as the damage is clear from the rear. Read morePublished 4 months ago by dairin
Fantastic album. Really surprised that Hugh is as good a singer and musician as this, as I know him mostly from his acting. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Al