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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 March 2005
I love the music on this CD, even though unavoidable sadness and nostalgia accompany my listening pleasure. I grew up to the sound of Ray Charles' voice, his songs...and absolutely loving them. Unfortunately, this album is not a sample of the artist at his best. It is obvious that he was ill and his voice has a strained, almost feeble quality at times. But even in his final studio album, Mr. Charles, "the genius," is better than most stylists/musicians at peak form.
Ray's sings 12 timeless favorites with younger performers, who have already established themselves as talents, as well as with some older pros. These duets give "Genius Loves Company" a funky, eclectic sound, and provoke the warm feeling that his legacy has been passed down to another generation. Some of the best cuts include: Charles' duet with B. B. King on "Sinner's Prayer." He plays a bluesy piano that goes straight back to his musical roots - fantastic! And with King along on blues guitar, it doesn't get much better! The sassy version of "Sweet Potato Pie" with James Taylor, and "Fever" with Natalie Cole are outstanding. He and Elton John do a soulful interpretation of the latter's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word."
"Genius Loves Company" makes no pretensions. It is an honest album, pleasing, laid-back and memorable because it is Ray Charles's farewell to his fans. I think it is a 'must have' for anyone who loves his music! Highly recommended!
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on 13 September 2004
Q magazine slated it as being predictable and a poor final bow out for Ray Charles. Predictable? Yes, in the sense of you know what to expect. All the songs are standards, the co-vocalists are all well known and deliver good performances. If you liked other Duets albums you'll like this. I did and I do.
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on 29 November 2004
I bought this album primary for the duet with Diana Krall as I'm totally crazy about her music and I buy every thing she is into. As this is my first album with Ray Charles I must say I'm pretty impressed and I need more of Ray Charles too!
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on 28 March 2005
The late great Ray Charles recorded this album with a few of the artists he had always wanted to work with, including Elton John, B.B. King, Norah Jones & Van Morrison to name but a few...the result is an amazing, inspirational & definitive album!
This is definately the best album I have bought for a long time...the raw emotion and definitive voice of Ray Charles are all here...the colabiration with other artists just adds an extra ounce of magic, making this album something special...
I highly recomend this album to almost everyone, I think that everyone can ultimately appreciate the genius that is Ray Charles...
...if you enjoy this then I also recomend seeing the film about the life of Ray Charles, 'Ray' is an fabulous representation of a an amazing and charasmatic man!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 September 2015
This is a great album - I like every single track on it. It has such ‘live’ feel to it; the production is crystal clear, every instrument comes through perfectly, as does the vocals. This album deservedly won ‘album of the year’ in 2005.
Most of Ray’s recording success came in the 1960’s when he also had some chart success in the UK. This album went to Number one in the US and peaked at 18 here. Ray has his star on Hollywood walk and what an amazing career he had.
His Dad was a humble sharecropper. Ray went blind at age seven and lost members of his family whilst still young. He grew up to be a bit of a lad! He had 12 children with 10 different women and also struggled with drug addiction along the way to becoming a real legend. He finally left us his musical legacy at age 74.
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on 11 December 2005
Truely amazing, every track on this cd is amazing. As i listened to it the first time i realised this would be a cd which would be played everyday. Very inspiring. Some of the most well known and loved artists feature, the quality of the sound is brilliant and a worthy tribute to Ray Charles
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on 30 November 2014
A wonderful selection of tracks featuring a diverse range of singing talent and sung with great passion. Charles is clearly showing his age here and his voice is clearly that of an old man. However, I feel that on many of the tracks the frailty in his voice adds a degree of poignancy that would otherwise be missing. The musicianship is superb throughout as is the production and sound quality. I bought the version with the DVD included which makes this album even more of an excellent package. The fact that I only paid 1p for my copy in second hand but 'like new' condition is insane!

For fans of MOR music with an often bluesy tinge, I consider this to be an essential purchase.
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on 5 June 2005
Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous - a massive final tribute to the world, and a marvellous memory of a brilliant musician. Standout track - the opener with Norah Jones, and then it just goes on! Buy it!!
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on 31 January 2007
I first heard the music of Ray Charles after watching the film "Ray". I had heard good reviews for this album and decided to plunge in. It doesn't fail to disappoint - an emotionally executed record. The songs with Gladys Knight, Norah Jones and Van Morrison stand out for me.
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on 3 March 2008
Apart from Ray Charles there are many fine performers and performances on this album - I particularly like the tracks with Norah Jones Diana Krall and Natalie Cole. If you like Ray Charles this is for you.

This would get 5 stars but Over The Rainbow is an absolute bummer when Johnny Mathis joins in and not not even Ray Charles can carry Van Morrison. It Was a Very Good Year sucks while Sweet Potato Pie with James Taylor doesn't really suits Ray Charles nor does Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word with Elton John.

The score so far-
3 tracks Suck - (2 if you can force yourself to listen to Van Morrison)
2 tracks OK
7 tracks Superb - so incredibly good that it almost makes 5 stars anyway.

This is still one of my current favourites and gets regular playtime.
Strongly recommended.
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