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Product: Audio CD
Title: Human Wheels
Label: Mercury / Universal
Artist: John Mellencamp
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
I Left Birmingham


I notice a number of reviewers gave this album 5 stars and said "When Jesus Left Birmingham" was a standout. I would have given this album 5 stars if that track was not on it. I never play it and always skip to track 2.
It is not that I don't like the lyric content, it is the "sound" of the track that turns me off it. It is so unlike other songs on the album.
That said, every other track are standouts. The title track is a repeat button job for me and others like "Sweet Evening Breeze" and "What If I Came Knocking" are the same.
Overall, an underated and overlooked gem in the Mellencamp catelogue and it should be given serious consideration when delving into his expansive and interesting collection of work.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Brian Granger
Label: Brian Granger
Artist: Brian Granger, Brian Granger
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Great Voice


At turns silky or powerful. My favorites are the songs where Brian's voice is least adorned by instrumentals (sorry musicians!). Lovely, soulful lyrics with a poet's edge of honesty. If you get a chance to hear him in concert, be there! Marvelous as the CD is, it has not quite caught what I have heard in live performance. He can melt you or blow you away.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Concord Records
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Musical Wit in an Orchestral Setting


The one problem a record collector encounters when he has an album too many of one artist, is the tendency of the artist to sing the same songs in succeeding albums/settings. Feinstein, who I consider as the leading proponent in reviving the American Popular Song standards to its unfettered glory is backed by a philharmonic orchestra in this album with the musical direction of conductor Alan Broadbent. And yes, he sang some songs that were sung in sparse and acoustic settings in his previous albums. As usual, just like any cabaret singer who never really sings the same song twice (listen to the grand old dames of cabaret like Julie Wilson and Mabel Mercer), Feinstein delights in the varied ways he can see a song in different contexts. Having said that, I thought he was a bit overly cautious in exploring his rich bari-tenor (sorry for this oxymoron but that is the word to apply to his voice) in soaring the vocal lines of Kern's The Folks Who Live on the Hill. Other than that, he was at his wittiest and conversational (not to mention just plain beautiful) voice when singing I Won't Send Roses and he can revisit the Bernstein/Sondheim Somewhere without evoking the famous version of uber diva Barbra Streisand. If you like good crooning vocals in a grand and orchestral setting, this is the album to listen or give as a gift -- you/they won't regret it.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Russell Watson · The Voice
Label: Decca
Artist:
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Love It!!!


A girlfriend gave me "The Voice" for birthday present. I have never liked 'opera' but after listening to Russell Watson I am converted. I have since purchased Encore and Va pensiero gives me shivers. Actually most of his songs give me shivers. I enjoy his change from pop to opera on both c.d.s.Highly recommended, play it loud when you are in the car or home alone...Fantastic...