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4.6 out of 5 stars
40
4.6 out of 5 stars
Crayons
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 19 May 2017
Donna's final album of new material recorded several years prior to her premature death. It's not quite up there with her greatest work from the 70's but it is still head and shoulders above most of the dross produced by todays "stars"
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on 5 July 2016
I am a longtime fan of Donna Summer. This was her last album which had some exposure after her presentation in a final season show of American Idol back in 2008. This recently issued expanded edition is definitely for fans, as the album itself was not a big success but still managed to place 3 songs into the top of the Billboard Dance Charts. Even in 2008 after a 40 years career she had a great voice, I saw her performing live a couple of times and always outstanding. Donna is still the top 9 artist with more number one songs in the dance Chart (July 2016),
46, Madonna
25, Rihanna
22, Beyonce
19, Janet Jackson
17, Mariah Carey
16, Jennifer Lopez
16, Kristine W
15, Katy Perry
15, Donna Summer
She did all that without Internet nor You Tube, so she does deserve credit for it.
The extra content of this expanded edition are 2 Cd's with 20 remixes of those 3 number one songs: I'm A Fire, Stamp Your Feet and fame(The game). To be fair it is only for die-hard fans and those liking extended/remixes versions, some of them very good ones as they bring new sounds to the originals. The booklet was expanded too. Pity it does not contain lyrics, but still managed to deserve the 5 stars.
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on 21 May 2008
17 yrs have passed since the release of Donna Summer's last full studio effort "Mistaken Identity".

There was hope in 1999 when Donna released the amazing VH1 LIVE AND MORE ENCORE DVD/CD (incidently re issued to coincide with CRAYONS in June!)

LIVE AND MORE ENCORE showcased Donna's still stunning vocal ability,in a live setting and included some tasty and mature sounding songs from the still in limbo broadway musical about Donna's life "Ordinary Girl" which really do add to the Donna Summer legacy. A new studio album was expected in 2000.

There were some pretty good one off singles and club hits "Love Is The Healer" "I Will Go With You(con te partiro)" among others but whatever happened with SONY, there was difference of opinion and the planned studio album "ANGEL" was shelved.

People were left wondering if this would be the last we would hear from Donna.

Well folks, not only is she back, but she has returned in truly breathtaking style.

"CRAYONS" has surpassed fan expectations and then some!
Donna has released an album of many different flavours. Every song could be a single, and that's straight from Donna herself. What's more she's not telling lies!

The album opens with "STAMP YOUR FEET" a dancey anthem about surviving, and fighting for what you believe in! (Quite appropriate as the label wanted Donna to record an album of oldies!) Like Cher's "BELIEVE" in the 90's this song will help redefine Donna in the Noughties!

Straight off excitement kicks in as you hear Donna's voice is sounding better than ever. The production is cutting edge, Donna sounds youthful and full of vitality just like she always did.

On "MR MUSIC" Donna sings of her IPOD and loving music, layered and sonically interesting this track is a grower,towards the end of the song Donna shows another surprising aspect to her voice.Still of a standard some of the "Diva's o' the day" could only dream of.

Next we hit musical gold with the title track "CRAYONS" a duet with Ziggy Marley. An electro reggae hit from the future, this screams HIT and will have you dancing all summer as Donna sings her way through the rainbow with Ziggy coming along for the ride and singing of "green grass everywhere" ha!:)

"THE QUEEN IS BACK" starts with a wind up pace of a tv news show theme and then SLAM, Donna sings over an authentic R+B thumping backing. Filled with Attitude, only someone of Donna's stature could pull this one off.

"I always told you that I'd never leave ya" This track is a tongue in cheek triumph, you'll be humming it all summer.

Every track is a beautiful moment in itself.

"FAME THE GAME" has a vocoder style Donna singing on the perils of fame and is really relevant..."Be careful what you wish for" indeed!

"I'M A FIRE" is cutting edge house/electro and thanks to a plethora of US mixes is already a billboard number one club smash. UK Mixes are forthcoming and hopefully they will add more to the track. The album version is a masterpiece in itself.

"SAND ON YOUR FEET", is the perfect beach track, and will make you feel like sipping a cool drink or taking a dip and smooching with your soulmate.

"DRIVIN DOWN BRAZIL" is pure samba and bossa nova, really carnival and fun. The tale of a Player driving down to see his girl.

Other standout tracks include probably the most haunting and powerful ballad of Donna's career "BE MYSELF AGAIN".
You feel Donna's pain on this track and in doing so cannot fail to feel your own.
An absolute triumph, and certainly deserving of a grammy nod, like so many on the album.

"SLIDE OVER BACKWARDS" is a rootsy country song, this songs stands out from the rest of the album as it is so different style wise to anything else on it. With Donna really singing as the character of the song, and sounding like a 40 a day whiskey soaked woman who has had a tough life! That woman can act! Shades of Tina Turner and Macy Gray come through, but it's still unmistakably Donna!

The album ends on a dramatic note with "Bring Down the Reign" a haunting prayer for Dafur, featuring a beautiful childrens choir. So beautiful.

The world has changed a lot in the 17 yrs since "Mistaken Identity" and now that Donna is firing on all cylinders again, this CD is the perfect showcase for her still stunning voice. All wrapped like multi coloured candy, in a 21st century soundscape which Donna sounds right at home in.

I think I've said it a few times, but "CRAYONS" really is a triumph
It shows an ageless talent still able to deliver the goods,actually pushing boundaries and adding more classics to her already jaw dropping repetoire.
If you loved the groundbreaking Donna of the past, be prepared to listen with an open mind and you won't be disappointed.
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on 25 September 2013
As a really big fan of Donna Summer especially the 70s disco classics, I decided to buy Crayons. It's probably the only Donna cd I do not own. I must say this cd is incredible, it has depth, and sounds really current. Donnas vocals are never in question, the voice is powerful strong and beautiful. The music world has lost a true master of song. It's sad to think there will be no more new Donna CDs, but thank God for the ones she has given us.
Kalle Kennedy (London)
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on 8 August 2008
I've been a Donna Summer fan since the 1970s so I awaited this album with much excitement. It might have been too much to expect Donna's first new studio album in 17 years to live up to expectations..... but it does and them some.
I have to admire Donna for standing by her principles and insisting on doing an album of new contempory music rather than going down the covers album road that so many other artists of her era have gone down. Donna has co-written all of the tracks on this album and many of them could be hit singles given the right push by a record company. Tracks like 'Stamp Your Feet', 'The Queen is Back','I'm A Fire' and 'Drivin Down Brazil' would sit very comfortably next to her classic hits from the 1970s and 1980s.
Donna has already taken this album into the Billboard top 20 and has once again topped the billboard dance chart at the age of 59! This album deserves to be a big success the world over and fans from the past should have no hesitation in adding it to their collections.
Buy with confidence!
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on 30 May 2008
Please, please, please, buy this album if you you've ever enjoyed a Donna Summer track as it's the best thing she's done since 1979's classic Bad Girls. I know - everything she did in the interim was just a tad banal and arbitrary, but this is the true return to form of a legendary performer and songwriter. The only reason it's getting four instead of five stars at the moment is that it'll have a bit of a way to go yet before it can compete with some of the iconic music this woman has produced. (And if people get on board, she may actually come over to the UK to play!)
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on 2 July 2016
Was worth the price and glad it was available for purchase to the USA
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2008
the queen of the disco scene in the 70's! the pop queen in the 80's! donna rates up there with diana ross and barbra striesand as a true legend!

its been 17 years since she released a studio album and once you put it one you hear the voice has none of its power or uniqueness..is there such a word!

track by track

"stamp your feet" is gonna be a huge dance anthem which she previewed on american idol in the usa! donna is in perfect vocal form..a catchy pop dance track 9/10

"mr music" follows suit and you realise donna is out for new converts! its perfect dance crew...the younger newer listeners can bodypop while us older one can indulge ourselves in disco heaven and bob along! 9/10

"crayons" a duet with ziggy marley is full of carribean flavour with street sounds..full of summer and a perfect match of vacal talents 9/10

"the queen is back"...donna reclaims her crown..this must become her anthem! its got a timbaland feel and the lyrics are perfect for donna's comeback!amazing 10/10 and a sure chioce for a single!

"fame" has an electro feel and the justin/timbaland feel...stunning 10/10

"sand on my feet" is a lovely semi-acoutic track..with lovely lyrics..perfect break from the dance tracks 9/10

"drivin down brazil" is very latin american...its a good track but it gets a bit lost and you want to get back to disco donna 7/10

"i'm a fire" put you right back on the floor! another donna classic that could have been from her heyday as the queen of disco.timeless 10/10

"slide over backwards" has a tina turner feel to it..i think tina could do it better as its got a raw country feel and doesn't suit donna 6/10

"science of love" .its has echoes of some great eighties tracks by asia, toto and the like..it doesn't sound dated and it a great track 9/10

"be myself again" is a big ballad..with great lyrics perfect for donna 10/10

"bring down the reign" has african vibes over a great track..big on atmosphere and a stunning end to a stunning album!

this is a donna classic...vocally perfect...great choice of songs...i have all her albums and its probably her most solid output ever!

THE QUEEN IS BACK!
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on 21 May 2016
This is a great album, I've fallen in love all over again with this deluxe version comprising of most of the remixes of the hit singles 'I'm A Fire', 'Stamp Your Feet', and 'Fame (The Game)'. Many thanks to all the parties involve in presenting this re-issue, and all the others (Donna's albums from the 80's\90's). Hope one day Donna's albums from the 70's, and 'She Works Hard For The Money' will receive the same treatment.
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2008
For those of us who were alive and partying when Donna Summer was the queen of disco, this album marks a welcome return after an absence of nearly twenty years. (Actually seventeen, but who's counting?)

Looking fit and fresh for her guest appearance on American Idol, where she sang the first single from this album "Stamp Your Feet", she proved that not even time can stop a Summer in full flow.

"Last Dance", one of my favorite songs from the past, was featured in the Ashton Kutcher/Cameron Diaz movie "What Happens in Vegas", as further proof that some performers are destined never to fade away into the woodwork.

Anyway, back to this album, my favorite song is the title track, featuring Ziggy Marley, providing a bouncy reggae vibe that's guaranteed to have you shaking a leg, even when you're sitting down.

All twelve tracks were co-written by the Queen, and regardless of tempo, they're all winners. If I had to pick my top five, I'd choose the two I've mentioned before, plus "Sand on My Feet", which reminds me of "Breakfast at Tiffanys" by Deep Blue Something; the jazzy Latin "Driving Down Brazil" and the disco track "I'm a Fire".

As she herself states proudly on track four, the Queen is back!

Amanda Richards
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