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Reviews Written by
fabio-italy (milan, italy)

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Price: CDN$ 5.00
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5.0 out of 5 stars ODD PAIRINGS SOUND GOOD!, Feb. 24 2003
This review is from: Duets (Audio CD)
This album is truly showcasing Barbra's wide range of duetting attitudes: you have Streisand goin' country with Vince Gill, disco with Donna Summer, easy listening with Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow (on a new song written by Richard Marx), R'n'B with Ray Charles, AC with Celine Dion, Kim Carnes and Bryan Adams and pop with Barry Gibb.
But then let's not forget that she is an actress as well as a singer, so it ain't that peculiar finding a duet with Don Johnson or Kris Kristofferson.
Yet, Barbra is not only a silver screen star, she's also a huge theatre stage talent, so here comes a duet with Michael Crawford and Johnny Mathis.
With such a stellar resumé, it is only fair TV gurus would give her due recognition thru TV specials, and so you find also a gem of a duet with the late Judy Garland.
Barbra proves to be an everchanging work of art, one of the new duets is with Josh Gorban - although I know it should have been performed by Barbra and Andrea Bocelli...and i am still wondering why it did not come off like that at the last minute? Easy answer: Gorban is along-time David Foster protegé.
Anyway: this album is very nidce collection of diverse genres and artists that put a feather in their caps by duetting with the most talented performer alive!

Love Peas
Love Peas
Offered by thebookcommunity_ca
Price: CDN$ 308.39
6 used & new from CDN$ 13.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Northern Love Affairs, Feb. 24 2003
This review is from: Love Peas (Audio CD)
I'm guilty, i know...i had already bought Roxette's greatest hits CD back in 1995, but it did it again and went also for the ballads compilation even though most of the songs were appearing on the other one.
I am so glad to be wrong!
Sure, you do find some songs that were originally present in the 1995 tracklist, but then...
QUEEN OF RAIN is the most underestimated Roxette ballad ever! Taken from the 1992 Tourism album, it is in my eyes probably one of her best efforts along with LISTEN TO YOUR HEART and IT MUST HAVE BEEN LOVE.
ANYONE is by mere inches the second one, great Burt Bacharach arrangements and Marie's voice soothing as ever.
Also from the Have A Nice Day album are the sweet WISH I COULD FLY and SALVATION.
MILK AND TOAST AND HONEY is the one track i never heard about from a studio album, bu then comes from Roxette's poorest selling work.
There are 2 new tracks that enlight this compilation, and i find BREATHE much better than the designed firs single A THING ABOUT YOU.
Too bad that also this time around RUN TO YOU has not made the final release...
You a real hard-core fan? get this limited edition, then.
There are four extra tracks that will pleasently surprise you.
And believe this, you ain't buying a's a full romantic thing this time!

The Essential Barbra Streisand (Rm) (2CD)
The Essential Barbra Streisand (Rm) (2CD)
Price: CDN$ 20.64
44 used & new from CDN$ 8.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not The Last Collection..., Feb. 21 2003
Someone must have already written this, and i totally agree with them: no greatest hits by Barbra will ever be an ultimate one.
Way too many singles to be choose from or gather together.
Maybe not even a box set would be enough.
There's always someone's favourite which is gonna be left out.
In my case - once again, and for the 5th time... - LEFT IN THE DARK by Jim Steinman and WHAT WERE WE THINKING OF from Til I Loved You are not part of the tracklist.
But, it's about time, I FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE has found its place and the song really deserved it: once again Barbra surprise fans with an improbable and delicious duet with Canadian rocker Bryan Adams, and collaborating in writing it with Def Leppard's and Shania's producer Mutt Lange.
She may be nearly 60, but this woman knows her business...and knows it well!
Two new tracks: YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE is the full studio version of half the track she used as an opening medley for her album Higher Ground, which is presented here with a boombastic gospel choir.
SOMEDAY MY PRINCE WILL COME is another track which was taken from her 1993 return concert tour from stage into studio and re-worked on...perfectly.
Barbra is Barbra.
Buy her!

Twisted Angel
Twisted Angel
Price: CDN$ 23.95
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4.0 out of 5 stars ANGELIC HELLRAISER..., Feb. 21 2003
This review is from: Twisted Angel (Audio CD)
The more Leann moves on with her carreer, the more people seem to be mistaking her for a hellraiser.
I have no idea what's so wrong with people in Leann evolving and experimenting new music.
If Madonna does it, she's innovative, if Leann does it, she's cheating on her country roots.
Well, guys, this album is GOOD:
first off she's worked with one of my favourite songwriters/producers of all times, Desmond Child.
Too bad that Diane Warren was not involved in the project this time, but i have high hopes for the next one.
Meantime she delivers a delicious pop number with LIFE GOES ON, brings tears to your eyes with the delicate THE SAFEST PLACE and LOVE IS AN ARMY.
Great AC tunes are the Ty Lacy co-written tunes DAMN and the Tina Arena's YOU MADE ME FIND MYSELF (Arena's own version still being the winner...).
You want rock-tinged songs? Try Andreas Carlsson's SUDDENLY or the Rolling Stone-ish TWISTED ANGEL...
And that's where this album does not stop but surprises you: Leann like Britney or the early days Christina?
Why not? After all she's still young and if she wants you to dance, she's got the right to do it...TROUBLE WITH GOODBYE and TIC-TOC work it perfectly out!
But the absolute winner song showing off her maturity and growing knowledge of her voice is the Desmond Child co-penned REVIEW MY KISSES: it's adult stuff, steamy and sensual without any moaning or's pure emotions out of words.
So yes, the kid hit the mark...
Really looking forward to her next step in the right direction!

A New Day Has Come (Dlx Ltd Ed
A New Day Has Come (Dlx Ltd Ed
Offered by MidwestMediaOverstock
Price: CDN$ 19.99
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4.0 out of 5 stars A new dawning for both of us, Feb. 18 2003
This album by Celine means so much to me.
I bought the original version on its release date.
It was also the day Sakis and i called it quits.
My friends called me crazy buying a Dion album on such a traumatic moment, most thought her sad ballads would have brought me on the edge of a nervous breakdown (some other even thought i might commit suicide...).
Well, my dear anti-celine fans, the news is that i'm very much well and alive.
And the album is great as usual: SORRY FOR LOVE is the track that i relate to the most, due to the above-mentioned facts.
And the fact that is not a ballad, but a dance tune, made it all easier to cope with.
Celine hits such HIGH notes she really proves to be from another planet, and to really be in a small league of talented vocalists.
RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU is the other track i love, because is the one i relate to beginning my relationship with Wayne later on that same year.
Coincidentally both tracks have been co-penned by Kara DioGuardi, who's becoming fast my # 2 female songwriter after Diane Warren - who unfortunately is not present on this collection.
Also David Foster does not appear, although he was rumored - before the CD release - to have produced the boombastic ballad I SURRENDER.
It is instead produced by Foster's long-time collaborator Simon Frangler and written by another smashing duo: Sam Watters and Louis Biancanello.
WHEN THE ONE LOVES YOU RIGHT is produced by Rick Wake that once more brings out the dance side of Celine.
Not that she can't make you dance, I'M ALIVE is another feet-stomping track by Sweden's Andreas Carlsson and Kristian Ludlin.
The Raggae-influenced SUPERLOVE is a fun tune co-written by Shelly Peiken (favourite female songwriter # 3...) and Guy Roche, who also produced it.
And what about the Clapton-esque guitar in the rocking TEN DAYS? Just unbelievable!
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE is a smooth slowtempo, although the real gem of the album in terms of ballads comes with the Corey Hart-written, Walter Afanasieff-produced PRAYER: deep meaning, great orchestration and choir, amazing vocals by Celine.
You can't be moved by such style...the same style that comes through with the titletrack (presented in both radio and album version).
Of course there are bad moments - no album is perfect: RAIN, TAX is just unlistenable, AT LAST does not even come close to the Etta James original version or the great Gladys Knight cover version...and God knows why NATURE BOY was chosen to be made a remake???
The album is really worth it.
Now let me suggest you this one version i am reviewing...because you get a couple of extra songs in the first place: ALL BECAUSE OF YOU is a very nice ballad and COULDA WOULDA SHOULDA another Carlsson/Ludlin uptempo that could have replaced any of the "bad songs" i just wrote about.
Then you get the I'M ALIVE VIDEO (ok, not much of an extra, i would have preferred, say, the making of of the album, but whatever...).
And finally - but strictly for die-hard fans - there is a 15.00 minute preview of Celine's Las Vegas Show to start on march 25th.
And here comes Wayne again, surprising me to hell getting us tickets for when i am there this upcoming Summer!
He says he wants me to move on from the past and to make all my dreams come true if he can...
It is really true, a new day has come: Celine sings it right!

Price: CDN$ 20.00
60 used & new from CDN$ 1.22

4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back, Butterfly Girl!, Feb. 13 2003
This review is from: Charmbracelet (Audio CD)
So what? Mariah hit a false step with her acting career and the bad - let's admit it - soundtrack she recorded for the movie.
She suffered of a nervous breakdown.
Can you blame her for that?
NO is my answer when she makes up and fight back this strong.
This album is finally a good product.
Comparing it to other albums released this year (see the disastrous Toni Braxton's or Whitney Houston's lukewarm comeback one), this one by Mariah is a winer from track # 1 to the last.
She really knows how to play and blend pop and urban, hip-hop and R'n'B.
THROUGH THE RAIN is a nice ballad, very autobiographical i'd say, not over-produced by Jam & Lewis and paramounting on her emotions big time.
BOY and IRRESISTABLE show how urban and hip-hop can comfortably be envisoned in a pop record.
THE ONE and CLOWN are both cool for arrangements and vocal phrasing (thank you, Jermaine Dupri).
I ONLY WANTED and LULLABY come to mind as being part 2's of MY ALL and THE ROOF...and since i like these latter tracks, i absolutely adore the way she spined-off...
SUBTABLE INVITATION and FLOWERS FOR ALFRED ROY bring out Mariah's soulful side.
And what about BRINGIN ON THE HEARTBREAK? Mariah Carey covering Def Leppard??? Man, if that ain't a hoot!!!
And even though she changes the music keys and all, the songs come through strong and powerful even without all of those guitars riffs...
I'm so glad Mariah's back!
Be a happy one and buy this CD too!

More Than A Woman
More Than A Woman
Price: CDN$ 16.45
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2.0 out of 5 stars Completeley Unfocused, Feb. 13 2003
This review is from: More Than A Woman (Audio CD)
Toni has been one of the prominent ladies of R'n'B of the past decade.
She's got a voice that sooths and looks that kill.
She's worked with the best in the business...i wonder what's the tragedy in her life that made her decide to go for this new musical direction?
The album is a very freaky one, full of producers none ever heard about for the most part.
The songs are full of distorted sampling (TELL ME being the notable exception of an Anita Baker's song sampling used properly).
There is no trace of great producers such as David Foster or songwriters as Diane Warren.
Most of the production has been supervised by hubby Keri Lewis and songs have been co-written by sis attempt to keep it in the family?
Whatever reason, bad move.
Babyface - to whom Toni owns much of her fame - provides the beautiful song AND I LOVE YOU, once again demonstrating that quality wins versus quantity.
Rodney Jerkins gave Toni a sure shot hit with HE WASN'T MAN ENOUGH back in 2000, but on this collection he's come up with a mid-tempo, sort of latin tune that isn't catchy as hard as it tries to be...
LIES, LIES, LIES is the attempt to give Toni some kind of a rock attitude à la Janet Jackson in the line of IF, but the results are pretty dejecting.
At the end of the day there are only a couple of songs i really like, the emotionally intense ROCK ME, ROLL ME and the ballad SELFISH (co-written by Brandy).
Just above average are the leading single HIT THE FREEWAY produced by The Neptunes, which is the only acceptable urban-influenced song here and the before-mentioned TELL ME.
ME AND MY BOYFRIEND: is this a cover of 2Pac's hit? Never heard the original version but this one is ok.
The rest..well, let's forget about it...i guess she could get an award for choosing to record two of the worse tracks this year: GIVE IT BACK and A BETTER MAN (this one a real concoction of sounds...not music definitely...).
The closing track, ALWAYS, is a bit better...
What am I supposed to say?
Everyone can make mistake...extra-poor sales charts will certainly show Toni this is definitely not her thing.
She should get back to the studio with REAL industry people and release a great one next time!
Plz Toni??? For the faithful fans of AC???

The Essentials
The Essentials
Price: CDN$ 16.00
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much '80's..., Feb. 13 2003
This review is from: The Essentials (Audio CD)
Why do i review this cd?
Because i bought it.
Why did i do that? the first place Laura is the one American artist that picked a couple of Italian hit songs (GLORIA and SELF CONTROL) and turned them into even more successful tunes stateside.
Being Italian and with an American boyfriend it feels so cool for once!
Then she re-recorded another huge Italian song (TI AMO) and a French one (SOLITAIRE), added lyrics by Diane Warren and more sparks came out...
And then...well...she started recording tracks that would have become later on # 1 hits by other artists (HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU by Michael Bolton and THE POWER OF LOVE by Celine Dion) or at least Top 10 hits (I FOUND SOMEONE by Cher).
And that's where she gets weak.
When dealing with material specifically written for her either in the early '80's (SPANISH EDDIE and THE LUCKY ONE), or the late '80's (SHATTERED GLASS), she falls short on something...
It ain't the voice..that's probably Laura's strongest skill...
you can see it on MOONLIGHT ON WATER and the delicate NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS.
It's maybe a personality that does not live up to that voice.
Whatever the point...this CD is a good compilation of the best material ever recorded by her.

Price: CDN$ 5.00
62 used & new from CDN$ 0.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Bouncing the Anger away..., Feb. 12 2003
This review is from: Bounce (Audio CD)
You can easily tell by the topic of the lyrics, this album has got Sept., 11th written all over it.
The rock-driven, anger-full tunes have got a sense of revenge that explodes its way out off the speakers.
UNDIVIDED is the anthem, although HOOK ME UP shows Bon Jovi goin' back to hard rock roots and BOUNCE (co-written with newcomer Billy Falcon) is just so perfect for the arena concerts singalong audience...
As usual Desmond Child is there, his lyricist skills shining through some gem of a song such as THE DISTANCE.
Surprisingly enough, Jon and the guys still team up with Sweden, but this time it's not Max Martin.
Andreas Carlsson is becomin' one of America's most fav writers.
EVERYDAY - great rock tune -, MISUNDERSTOOD and the sweet and intimate YOU HAD ME FROM HELLO showcase how the man can easily swing from a genre to another...bravo Andreas!
And then you obviously have Jon and Richie displaying THEIR own amazing writing attitude, coming up with stories about ordinary people who live in the middle (JOEY) or losers who live on the edge (RIGHT SIDE OF WRONG).
After all of the fame and sucess they still relate to where they come from perfectly...

ALL ABOUT LOVIN' YOU and LOVE ME BACK TO LIFE are the two big ballads off the album.
Because you have to remember that anger and love can live within the same feeling...and after tragedies, and will of revenge, you still must be able to forgive and give love back.
Now go and get the album!

Ultimate Collection
Ultimate Collection
Price: CDN$ 32.32
11 used & new from CDN$ 21.41

5.0 out of 5 stars The SONY years, Feb. 11 2003
This review is from: Ultimate Collection (Audio CD)
It was pretty logical SONY would have released this collection.
After all Michael has been one of their best milk cows when it comes to AC and Top 40 charts.
In buying this 2 CD compilation, you will basically buy back The Greatest Hits 1985/1995 tracklist (minus the Diane Warren-penned THIS RIVER), the singles off The Timeless Vol. I and II albums, plus the gorgeous ONCE IN A LIFETIME from The Love Songs collection.
But this time - even if for the very last one - SONY did something good for Michael's fans: LOVE IS THE POWER is finally available on a compilation as well as his Christmas holiday seasons album.
NESSUN DORMA is the one tune chosen to represent his work with My Secret Passion - The Arias CD.
And to top it off you get the Disney production of A DREAM IS A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES...though i do not know from which album???
Whatever, SONY is behind mr. Bolton but their job is excellent!
This is a must have!

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