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Product: Audio CD
Title: Measure of a Man
Label: Rca
Artist: Clay Aiken
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
CLAY MEASURES UP


Being a retired music critic, I was extremely interested in this particular CD given the American Idol's 1st runner-up status.Talk around the water coolers in the Industry is that Aiken is a serious thorn in American Idol's side because he seems to be making a mockery of the entire concept of the show. Example: his single debuted #1 on the BILLBOARD charts and not only rated the best selling single of the year so far, but is second only to Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" for all time record sales. The winner, Ruben Studdard, had to settle for second place on the chart. Their careers, to date, have run in the same vein. Clay seems to be garnering more and more accolades, and popular opinion now is that it is Clay who has the staying power.
The CD was not a surprise to me. Aiken's voice is on the "dynamic" level. What does surprise me is that his label held back some on the song choices. He does them all justice (and then some), but it was not the "A" stuff that he deserved. His delivery, especially on the songs, "I Survived You", and "I Will Carry You" rates an A+. He has a killer range.
The CD is saved, in the most part, by Aiken's strong pipes. My favorite? "The Way". I was "aiken" for a "burn the house down" rockin' song, but, again, RCA fell short. I believe Clay is more than capable of it. The label needs to have as much faith in his abilities as his fans do.
In short, "Measure of a Man" is a showcase of Clay Aiken's talent as a vocalist. Not all of the song choices were bad, however, I believe "Touch" will be a chart topper, as well as "I Survived You" and possibly "The Way", and "No More Sad Song". One last note: this is a better than normal first CD.It's my honest opinion that Aiken is one of the most strongest vocalists to come along in years and RCA needs to haul out the big stuff for him. If they don't, someone else will be happy to-trust me.
I rate this CD an A.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Viaggio Italiano / Andrea Bocelli
Label: Philips
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Voce di DIO (Voice of GOD)!!


Despite orchestral support that is barely adequate, Bocelli's beautiful tenor manages to rise above the lackluster accompaniment. In a delightful mix of Arias, popular Canzoni, and a few sacred pieces, the heartbreaker of Tuscany delivers a superb performance. The Lamento di Federico--never an easy piece--is performed with great emotion and power. All the selections, in fact, show a voice capable of handling difficult and subtle material. The Panis Angelicus is particularly affecting; as a lifelong "secular person," I must admit I was prepared to dislike it. I was won over with the first note out of Bocelli's throat. It is hard to say why this album seems to have sold the fewest of all his offerings. The title doesn't exactly prompt one to try it. Perhaps some of the negative remarks made by people who enjoy tearing down public figures has something to do with the lagging sales. An opera-goer for decades, I am not so much of a "purist" that I cannot enjoy the entry into the opera field of a former pop singer (How dare he!) Was this held against Rene Kollo, and many other tenors and sopranos? Then there are the pop fans who lament one of their own passing into the classical world. Surely this is just another kind of snobbery. Listening to and understanding arias is an acquired taste for many. (Do people still say that about beer?) The same can be said of the process of passing from junk novels to fine literature, drama, and poetry. We want was is easy, short, and quick. Certain critics, professional and amateur, even while understanding the "investment" of thought and time that serious music requires, seem to delight in trashing this singer. It is a mystery but, as I recently told a friend, this may constitute a case of the deaf misjudging the blind. No one--I said NO ONE--who listens to this singer carefully, and honestly, with no fear of expressing his emotional side, can fail to appreciate him. Those who hold up Pavarotti as a "real" tenor (and he is, of course) should be aware that Luciano has nothing but praise for Bocelli. And could there be a more profound "critic" than the Primo Tenore of the last two decades? I think not. Andrea Bocelli stands poised to enter the pantheon of great singers. His name shall follow that of Caruso, Gigli, Schipa, Martinelli, Tauber, Del Monaco, DiStephano, Bergonzi, Wunderlich, Tagliavini (perhaps the closest in style and beauty of voice), and Pavarotti. Into that august company he will be welcomed with enthusiasm--of this I have no doubt.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Les Miserables - The Complete Symphonic Recording
Label: Relativity
Artist:
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Very good recording of an overly-hyped musical


Though this CD did not get the best cast, it is still worth buying for one major reason: it is the complete recording. It contains every note from the 3hr+ show, Les Miserables, and is one of only two such recordings, the other complete recording being of Miss Saigon, which is by the same authors of Les Mis. Unfortunatly, authors don't usually give the rights to make a recording such as this, so savor it.



Product: Audio CD
Title: On the 6
Label: Sony
Artist: Jennifer Lopez
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
GOOD


this is a pretty good cd. i think that jennifer is great at singing and dancing. i've seen her live on the television so i dont know why everybody says she sings bad. i think shes not one of the best, not one of the worst, but better in the middle part. her songs and voice has a latino sound to it and its great. there are some slow songs but hey, everyone needs to slow down a bit once and awhile
and one thing. why are all you people comparing her selena and dissin her cause she isnt that great as her? i know selena is better than jennifer and i dont think she doesnt want to "steal" selena's fame. so please,listen to the music, dont compare her to some great legend and say shes trying to be like her.