Top positive review
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Excellent album, mainly filled with ballads
on 25 July 2011
Clare wrote one song, While, and co-wrote another, One more, both of them excellent. The rest of the album contains tastefully-interpreted covers of songs from diverse sources, illustrating Clare's eclectic musical tastes. Some of them sound more or less how you would expect from Clare, but others may come as a surprise.
I was particularly interested to hear what Clare had done with It's not unusual, the old Tom Jones classic. I've also heard Jackie Trent's much slower cover of that song and I felt that arrangement might suit Clare better. In fact, Clare's interpretation comes somewhere in between pace-wise but adapted for jazz, and it works brilliantly. Because I was looking forward to hearing this track and Clare lived up to my expectations and then some, it is my favorite track here, but there is plenty else to enthuse about.
Clare has included some relatively modern songs, among them being Why (Annie Lennox), Chasing cars and Sing it back, as well as another sixties song, Care of cell 44 (Rod Argent). Among this group of songs, I only recognized Why, but Clare chose these songs well. I may even look for the originals one day.
The remaining songs were around even before I was born, but that's OK because I've learned to love a lot of those songs. Clare is a lot younger than me and she clearly enjoys them too. The oldest of them (The Salley gardens) is now more than a century old, but it's a great song. Love is the sweetest thing (a Ray Noble song from the thirties) is as up-tempo as this album gets. I like Clare best on the slower songs, but a bit of variation here and there never does any harm.
Among the other brilliant tracks here is A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square. The recent revival of interest in Vera Lynn's music may have brought this song to a new audience , although it wasn't included on Vera's chart-topping compilation. Clare's recording is more or less what I expected of her, but apart from confirming her impeccable song selection, I'm glad she recorded it just in case there are fans out there who still don't know this song. The nightingales that inspired the song have long since departed Berkeley Square, but the song is timeless.
Clare has recorded several albums now and this one maintains the very high standard that I have come to expect from her.