Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Harry Connick, Jr. shines in this wonderful album....
on 5 December 2003
Fans of Rob Reiner's 1989 romantic comedy "When Harry Met Sally..." will tell you that this Harry Connick, Jr. album that's sold in the Movie Soundtrack section of most music emporiums (including online stores such as this) is not, in fact, from the original motion picture soundtrack. Instead, Columbia Records released this non-soundtrack as When Harry Met Sally...Music From the Motion Picture. Yes, the songs played and sung here by Connick were heard in the movie...but most of them were performed by other artists.
This doesn't mean the album is bad; it's not. It just isn't an "original soundtrack album."
That having been said, this 10-track set is an enjoyable collection of romantic standards, some of them now over six decades old yet sounding timeless. Some of them are cheerful and peppy ("It Had To Be You," which is heard in two versions here), some are riffs on loneliness and separation ("But Not For Me" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"),others still are odes to romance ("I Could Write a Book" and the gently reflective "Where or When"). There is even a little bit of the holiday spirit added in for good measure (a solo piano rendition of "Winter Wonderland").
Connick pulls double duty as vocalist and piano player in most of the tracks (with the exception of "But Not For Me," with Marc Shaiman doing the honors at the piano), ably reflecting each song's emotional context with his old-fashioned stylings and New Orleans accent. Listen carefully to the World War II-era "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and there's a sense of longing there for an absent spouse or lover. In his rendition of "Where or When," Connick conveys the feeling of awe everyone feels when he or she has fallen in love with someone, yet can't figure out "where or when" the transition occurred.
I suppose I like this album because I am, as Louis Renault said of Rick Blaine in Casablanca, a "rank sentimentalist" -- a charge to which I cheerfully plead guilty. The fact that these songs were around 30 or more years before my birth over 40 years ago and can still touch people's hearts and minds is proof that some things are indeed timeless. Connick and Shaiman (who also produced the album) chose their material well, making When Harry Met Sally....Music From the Motion Picture a fine addition to anyone's library of jazz and easy listening CDs.