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The Changing Lights

Stacey Kent Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 13.81 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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A multi-award winner (2001 British Jazz Award, 2002 BBC Jazz Award Best Vocalist, etc) and Grammy nominee, Stacey has built a huge fanbase for her cool, classy interpretations of the Great American Songbook, all recorded with husband, arranger, producer and now songwriter Jim Tomlinson (himself a winner of the 2006 Album of the Year British Jazz Award).

Her new album, The Changing Lights is a musical journey through jazz, bossa nova and chanson, including a mixture of Bossa Nova classics from Tom Jobim, Marcos Valle, and also Roberto Menescal, who appears as a featured guest on the album. There are also new songs written especially for Stacey by Jim Tomlinson. The title track, ‘The Changing Lights’, is written by Jim Tomlinson and novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, the songwriting team that have been writing for her since her first album for EMI, the Grammy-nominated Breakfast On The Morning Tram.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stacey Kent - The Changing Lights Oct. 22 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have been listening to Stacey Kent since her first album - Close Your Eyes. Her albums have won a number of awards. This album is no exception. Stacey Kent visits some of her favorite Bossa Nova songs. She is an American who can sing in fluent French as well as Portuguese, Italian and German with ease with a style and grace that is unique.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Effort--The Title Track Carries The Album! Dec 10 2013
By Erik in NJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First let me state that I think this is another fine album by Stacey Kent, Jim Tomlinson, et al. The title track penned by Kashuo Ishiguro is a masterpiece lyrically, melodically, and of course as executed by Ms. Kent. I would have to say that this song is their finest original composition to date and as far as I'm concerned I would buy the album just for this one song. "The Summer We Crossed Europe in the Rain" is another Ishiguro lyric which Tomlinson has turned into a beautiful song. "Waiter, Oh Waiter" in my opinion is not one of Ishiguro's finer writing efforts (I love "The Ice Hotel" and "I Wish I Could Go Travelling Again" from the album "Breakfast on the Morning Tram"--both Ishiguro lyrics) and perhaps is the weakest of his three contributions to this album.

This album has been a long time in coming as Stacey was supposedly learning Portuguese. I love Bossa Nova and have been looking forward to this album for a long time since I originally heard that they were working on a Bossa album. Having said that I think this album could have been so much more. The song "Chanson Légère" sung in French (which makes this a relatively unusual trilingual album) seems to be a leftover from Stacey's prior album "Raconte-Moi" and seems oddly out of place on this album. Futher evidence of this may be the fact that it occupies the final track on this album. The songs "One Note Samba (Samba De Uma Nota Só)" and "How Insensitive" are like a rite of passage for Bossa Nova albums, but better songs could have been chosen--they have recorded much more compelling versions of other Bossa songs on prior albums. Stacey and Jim could have done worse than looking at the selection of songs on Eliane Elias's album "Dreamer" which I consider to be top notch or perhaps Celso Fonseca's album "Natural." It's also a shame that they never seem to do any covers of any of Michael Franks's wonderful Bossa inspired songs--a little known Franks song called "Somewhere in the Rain" (which can be found on the box set "The Dream 1973 - 2011" and on the Yuming album "Over the Sky") would have been perfect for this album! One final critique is that this version of this album does not contain the printed lyrics which is unfortunate. So overall I give this album a four-star rating and consider it a "must have" for any Stacey Kent/Jim Tomlinson fan and certainly something that I will continue to enjoy listening to--especially the gorgeous and haunting track "The Changing Lights."

On a side note: one added benefit of purchasing the US release of this album over this version is that the US release includes the two bonus tracks "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)" and "Meditation," the latter being a wonderful addition to the album.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! Nov. 24 2013
By Oregon Doc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I found this disc to be perfectly delightful The material was interesting, the arrangements clever, and the production suitably puts Ms. Kent's beautiful voice up front. Tomlinson's sax was, as always, a perfect match for her voice and there were moments when you could not tell which of the two was starting the new musical phrase. I have already played it many times.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stacey runs out of steam Oct. 24 2013
By jfleigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Sad to say, Stacey Kent, whom I have admired for over a decade, has run out of steam. This album misses out entirely on the energy and freshness that marked much of her previous work. The new songs, written by Jim Tomlinson and other members of the band, with a little help from their friends, are of a stunning dreariness and banality. The words are hand-me-downs from tin pan alley - full of wishes on stars and clover - and the melodies, well they hardly exist at all, just a mildly modulated, almost spoken, song line. They all sound the same. I have always enjoyed bossa nova but her version of it is tired and clichéd. I am happy for Stacey and Jim that they have fallen in love again with Brazil, learned some Portuguese and are thrilled by their access to certain relics of the Brazilian popular music revolution of the 1960s. But it is not because they have had some great visits to Brazil that they have succeeded in reinventing this genre in a way that will strike new chords with today's audiences. This album would make pleasant background music in a restaurant or cafe but is deeply disappointing if you actually listen to the words and music.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Stacey Kent CD. March 18 2014
By Stephen Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Excellent style, great back-up ensemble. Listening to Stacey Kent is addictive. Her diction is impeccable; her sense of swing - right on target.
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful breezy and cheeky bossa nova cuts: Perfect for your swanky Bachelor pad Feb. 16 2014
By J. R. Spencer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I recently bought this album through I-tunes, as the song "waiter, waiter" was featured on a radio show i was interviewed for, for my book Lady Liberty: The Definitive Julie London Handbook. The show is called Cocktail Nation at [...].

I was not as familiar with Stacey Kent as I have been with other artists. After hearing Changing Lights, I feel it is a great compilation of standard bossa nova material of Jobim mixed with really interesting, cheeky and fun original numbers. I really love this album and listen to regularly. I will be exploring Stacey's other albums, most hits with an occasional miss. But I feel Changing Lights is a lovely fun album that expresses the playfulness of the 60s well, and has a cocktail, joyous feel.

As a vocalist myself, I feel Stacey has impeccable phrasing and clean diction without the over embellished improv many artists go for today. The album has a clean, polished cool jazz feel. I much prefer artists like Stacey, Julie London, and other cool jazz artists to the school of hot, scat and improv. This album feels breezy and intimate.

I highly recommend it for your collection.
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