The last Nina studio album from 1993 but re-issued with unreleased seven tracks, making seventeen tracks in total , playing time just under an hour. Nina was hitting sixty, a new wave of interest in her work had been underway for a few years, and her autobiography had just been published. But she seemed to be lost. All the old defiance had gone. As the title track suggest- the opening number no less- this release is dedicated to the plight of `A Single Woman`: Thought her voice still sounds great and the string arrangements work well but on this release, Dr. Nina Simone sounded mellow and looking inwards. There are no duff tracks, but the melancholy gets too much at times, and there's not even any of the extraordinary piano playing that one appreciates from her. Dedicating `The Folks Who Live on the Hill' to a former lover, Earl Barrow the Prime Minister of Barbados , who let Nina become his mistress for fourteen months in the mid 1970's, seems one great 'what might of been'. `Loves been good to me' is bitter-sweet, Nina presenting her life as a procession of disappointments just about redeemed by love affairs which don't last. The tracks seems nostalgic, many could fit into movie soundtracks of previous decades. `Papa can you Hear Me' is almost too painful to listen to, a lonely woman reminiscing about her deceased father. Il N'y a Pas D'amour Heureux , which Nina sings beautifully , is the standard Gallic evocation of doomed love. At last 'The More I See You' and 'Marry Me' right at the end are more upbeat.. The ten original tracks are rarely found on compilations so worth seeking out.
But the bonus tracks at least give a different view. Nina's versions of `No Woman No Cry' ( Bob Marley- one of the very few times she attempted a reggae standard), and `Long Winding Road' ( Beatles standard from `Let It Be') are fine. A real jaunty version of `I've got to Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter' , made famous by Barry Manilow , is great. There is just a snatch of Nina's version of Bob Dylan's `The Times They Are Changing' -enough to make on remember that they were contemporaries in some respects , playing to the same New York audience in the early 1960's. But what really excels is her version of the Prince classic `Sign O The Times', marvellous work, Nina's old spark seemed to got ignited and her talents as an imaginative artist and skilled interpreter of contemporary work are much in evidence.
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