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Product: Audio CD
Title: Human Touch
Label: Sony
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Great title track


Unfortunately for the album "Human Touch," the simultaneously released album "Lucky Town," received the bulk of the great songs Bruce Springsteen had to offer at that point. The absolutely fine love song that is the title track is the highlight. Beyond that the quality drops off considerably. By the end you find yourself longing for the since departed E Street band. Maybe Bruce got too contented as he approached middle age and found out that it was time for him to stop running.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Enchantment
Label: Sony
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Enchantment! "It mus' be sumpin dat de angels done plan. "


Climb aboard the Success Express with Welsh phenom Charlotte Church. Next stop, the land of "Enchantment."
A Flower In Duet or The Voice of An Angel? Welsh Superstar or Teenage Singing Sensation? The choice is yours and any would be correct. They all describe the sweet voice and enchanting personality of the 15-year-old Welsh soprano superstar, Charlotte Church.
If you're not listed among the throngs of fans you should be and you soon will be after listening to her fourth CD release entitled "Enchantment" from Columbia/Sony. Enchantment comes on the heels of three previous releases, Charlotte Church-Voice of An Angel, Charlotte Church and Dream a Dream all three from Sony Classical. This latest release has been distributed world wide in four versions.
Enchantment! It's Classical, It's Celtic, It's Broadway and Film, It's Pop. It's brilliant!! If you were expecting anything but brilliance from Charlotte's most recent release than you will be overwhelmingly disappointed. At the centerpiece of this masterful creation is Charlotte's voice which is stronger, richer and more expressive than ever before. She may not yet have the vocal power of the big blasters but in a recent interview she states "my voice is still maturing". If Enchantment is an indication as to where she going with her sweet voice there's no doubt that she will eventually be the cr?me-de-la-cr?me of the Welsh, European and American music worlds. No small accomplishment for a 15-year-old Welsh school girl. It's the ultimate craftsmanship of any 15-year-old entertainer in the world.
The only down side to Enchantment is the lack of lyrics on the CD liner but for a good reason. The lyrics were sacrificed for the greater cause--Charlotte's unique desire to communicate her feelings, thoughts, emotions about each recorded song. A singular and commendable action to personalize the Enchantment experience.
My favorites from Enchantment are Carrickfergus, The Little Horses, Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man, The Laughing Song, The Flower Duet and The Prayer. Each requires a different vocal technique and expressiveness, Charlotte comes through magnificently in each category. The ethereal quality of Carrickfergus, perfect for a love song. The joyful lullaby of The Little Horses is enough to soothe even the sorest of spirits. The bluesy Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man from Showboat is the eternal relationship between a man and woman. The staccato of The Laughing Song says it all, good range, good control and good music. Charlotte duets with herself in The Flower Duet from the Opera Lakeme. It reminds me of a tranquil place, perhaps a flowering garden of captivating beauty. The Prayer, a soaring duet with Josh Groban.
Grace and Jeremy, you guys rock. Don't you dare let go of this little girl. If you do, we'll have to strand you on Bali Hai with all the other fans.
Thanks Jesse. I swear man, your fingers move faster than hummingbird wings.
Josh, what a voice, dude!
Maria and James, keep annoying Charlotte.
Charlotte, thanks for the memories. You really are an Angel. Come back to the United States anytime.
Enchantment! "It mus' be sumpin dat de angels done plan. "
A Fan



Product: Audio CD
Title: Prelude: The Best of Charlotte Church
Label: Sony
Artist:
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
Charlotte Church - Prelude


When Charlotte Church first came onto the music stage at the young age of twelve, I noticed some things in her technique that were not quite correct, however, given the fact that she was only twelve, I just listened to it, thinking that she would improve with each new CD.
Then out came her second CD. While it was more of an opera album, because of all the arias, I was shocked that Miss Ryan (Miss Church's Voice Teacher) would allow Miss Church to sing such difficult repertoire. Those arias are for a soprano in her last years of college, not a soprano in her first years of junior high. Why? Well, if you have plans on becoming an opera singer, or if you want to sing those arias when you are older, you don't sing them when you are young. This is because when you are young, the voice is still in training and trying to get rid of bad habits.
If you sing the arias when you are on the bad habits, you will most likely not be able to break them when you are older. Wich is why you should wait it out--wait till your technique is supurb on the art songs--then--and only then--go onto arias. When you do go onto arias, the first ones should be light pieces, like Handel's As When The Dove, or Mozart's Vedri Carino, his Batti, Batti O Bel Masetto, and also, young classical artists should also sing Caro mio ben, even if it is the most common piece in the 24/26 Italian Song and Arias--it helps you along with some common used Italian words.
Instead of singing As When The Dove (Handel), or Vedri Carino (Don Giovanni, Mozart) Miss Church went for pieces such as La Pastorella (The Little Shepherdess). Before Church recorded this, the youngest singer I ever heard sing this piece was twenty one, and a junior in college, a opera/vocal major.
Why is it a good idea to wait until you are a little older to sing this piece? Because of all the high Cs and Bs, as well as trills that most young people can't tackle.
Soon after that, Miss Church came out with a recording of Christmas Carols. I don't think that the Ave Maria should be touched by a fourteen year old girl, in fact I think you should be sixteen before you attempt this. There are a great many reasons why--breath support, phrasing, and tone qualities are required that people under the age of sixteen can not master. It is by no means that they have bad voices, it is just that they are still trying to train their voices to tackle the breath control and phrased tones.
Soon after that, out came Enchantment. Again, the songs on this disc were not suited to a fifteen year old, such as The Flower Duet, and the Haba?era. The Flower Duet is not a good idea to sing for a great many reasons--number one--the higher part is for a coloratura soprano and the lower part is for a coloratura mezzo-soprano. Number two--both parts being a touch on the heavy side for a fifteen year old to sing and bring out the tone required for the pieces.
Somewhere in there, came the soundtrack to "A Beautiful Mind." I can stand the wordless vocalises, but, All That Love Can Be was very raspy, and had to much air escaping in her tone. I think that Miss Celine Dion or Miss Sarah Brightman would have been better choices for the Beautiful Mind soundtrack.
Then we hear four new recordings, wich still has sound far back in the mouth, and not up frount in her mouth where it should be.
I hope Miss Church goes and trys to get a carreer in something else--because I believe that the music industry has had enough.



Product: Audio CD
Title: A Nod to Bob: An Artists' Tribute to Bob Dylan on His Sixtieth Birthday
Label: Red House
Artist: Greg Brown, Lucy Kaplansky, John Gorka, Guy Davis
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Wonderful CD!


As Dylan tributes go, this is a pretty good one. Nod to Bob mostly inclines its head to the 1960s-era bard. The sole exceptions are Guy Davis's "Sweetheart Like You," from the 1980s Infidels, and Spider John Koerner and Dave Ray's "Delia," a century-old Georgia murder ballad which Dylan recorded in the 1990s (in a quite different variant) on his all-traditional World Gone Wrong. The artists are seasoned pros, all influenced in one way or another by the folk revival that brought Dylan to the world stage. Only Lucy Kaplansky's lifeless "It Ain't Me, Babe" falls flat. It's almost to be preferred, however, to the sour anti-American rant French Canada's Hart-Rouge makes of "With God on Our Side" (sung in French); in the liner notes the band concedes that the song --surely the protest anthem at its most puerile, and Dylan at his most insufferably self-righteous -- is strictly a period piece, but apparently it can't resist the temptation. It should have. More happily, Suzzy and Maggie Roche offer a supremely good-humored "Clothes Line Saga," and Rosalie Sorrels establishes that "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" is a far better song than heretofore suspected. There is also Martin Simpson's affecting "Boots of Spanish Leather." Norman Blake and Peter Ostroushko do a suitably rustic-sounding "Restless Farewell," whose melody (from the old Irish "Parting Glass") is much older than Dylan's lyrics. And then there's Ramblin' Jack Elliott's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," than which there is no better. It has the added virtue of a hilarious opening anecdote at the young Dylan's expense.