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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. All Out Of Love|
|2. You're So Vain|
|3. She's Always A Woman|
|4. Time After Time|
|5. Weekend In New England|
|6. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic|
|7. If You Leave Me Now|
|8. Your Song|
|9. Please Remember Me|
|11. Being Alive|
|12. Feeling Good|
|13. All By Myself|
2007 release from the British actor and performer who has conquered TV, Broadway and the West End but is best known as the character Captain Jack in Dr Who and the spin-off series Torchwood. The album features songs that John has long admired and holds dear. Across a number of musical genres, but predominantly sumptuous, streamlined Pop, he lends his rich vocals to, amongst others, Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time", Elton John's "Your Song", and Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now". His rendition of Billy Joel's "She's Always A Woman To Me" is velvet and sensuous, and 'All Out Of Love' with its soaring strings is simply epic. BMG.
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The arrangements on this collection of pop hits seems to be standard, not creative, which is reassuring for those who like cover versions to sound as much like the tried-and-true as possible. There is a slight pizzazz Barrowman adds to one or two cuts, but overall, the vocals are smooth and soft and basically unrecognizable to anyone who only knows him from the BROADWAY collection, and doubts his voice can be toned down (to suit the intimacy of radio airplay).
This is his fourth CD, and each one has his vocals tailored to the concept. The BROADWAY collection was lush and powerful and full-bodied, very dynamic, while the COLE PORTER was casual, breezy, almost a knock-off, and the LLOYD-WEBBER was mixed, depending upon the style required for the particular song (and far too many duets, as I stated in my review for that CD).
The BROADWAY collection remains my favorite, as I enjoy the songs, as well as the power and versatility displayed in Barrowman's voice.
When it comes to pop, I like a bit more bite in my music than these selections inspire. These selections are smooth and quiet, more reflective. However, the YOU'RE SO VAIN was interesting, as he sang the lyrics true, which made the topic of the song a free-wheeling bisexual adventurer, which adds a bite of spice to an otherwise too-familiar song.
Another plus to all Barrowman's vocals is you never find yourself scratching your head and searching for the set of lyrics: His precise diction means you always understand every word. Some may find the lack of slurring, etc., mannered, unnatural: I, however, find it a total relief. And though his voice is less expressive than George Michael's, I find he - like Roger Daltrey and Michael - "acts" his songs, so even the soft-pitched selections, such as here, are conveyed beautifully as to their meaning.
When you work in the music industry, you develop a certain attitude regarding the more mainstream pop music, and it's usually not a good one. Usually pop music is considered a commodity... I admit I'm jaded in my preferences and it's immensely difficult to get an emotional reaction out of me that this CD did. I'm new to the whole John Barrowman experience, more from a TV standpoint with his appearances in 'Doctor Who' and 'Torchwood', and a smattering of soundtrack titles,(Producers, etc) so I'll start with a light review on the titles that I liked and then detail which ones I think are the true gems of this collection.
The majority of the tunes, 'Time after Time, Every little thing she does is magic, If you leave me now", are all done well, but the following tracks really stood out for me.
Knowing that John picked these titles himself because of their meaning to certain events and times in his life gives you an idea of his listening preferences, and judging from his age, and where he grew up (Scotland to US), in the Midwest, I'm sure his poor adolescent ears were inundated with the likes of Air Supply (All out of Love) and Barry Manilow (Weekend in New England) among other Top Pop hits. Normally I'd give all of these titles a miss, even from their originators, but there's a difference to these that I'll reveal.
John is a natural professional. His timing, his phrasing, range, and his delivery are superb. He makes these tracks sound so effortlessly done, that you wonder why everyone isn't making records. I'd listen to any of these titles performed by him, before I'd submit to the original singers' versions, and knowing some of the stories behind the tracks is even better. For example, John asking permission from Carly Simon to perform "You're so Vain" over the phone and listening to her sing it herself, and melting into the floorboards with joy. Little bits like this is what make the CD very special.
What CD that John does would be complete without a Barry Manilow tune, "Weekend in New England" and quite frankly, I'd never really liked this song, but he performs it with such emotion and finesse, that I prefer it over the original version. See a trend happening here?
Also, all the pop tunes aside, I have to give him kudos for changing gears, and perform (with an amazing arrangement) of legendary singer Anthony Newley's "Feeling Good" from the play, "Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd".
I was worried that the Ballad-heavy CD might make him sound too much like the usual Middle-America white-bread singer, and wondered, "Does this boy have any Soul?" He gives Newley credit for his interpretation and proves that that he DOES indeed have soul.. He moans, growls and belts out this sultry and smoldering version of this Broadway classic, and it made me want to hear him do an entire CD of "Porgy and Bess" just to show he could indeed rip one into the stratosphere. And the little mischievous chuckle at the end didn't hurt either.
Last and certainly not least, is Rodney Crowell's country classic, "Please Remember Me"..which at first listen, had me blubbering like a five-year-old as I drove down the interstate, a heartbreaking version that Rodney should be more than proud of. I'm not a country music fan either (my tastes lean towards more esoteric offerings) but it actually made me look up Rodney's music repertoire, to see what other incredible songs he'd written. And that is the mark of a true musician, to inspire others.
So in parting, I'll have to say I was deeply touched by several of the songs on the list, some more than others, because of the delivery, emotion and overall immaculate performance, and just to let you know, it's been a very long time since ANY song I'd listened to made the waterworks flow, and for that, John Barrowman, I take my hat off to you, this music snob has been converted.
formerly with :
MCA Records, Scotti Bros-Records/Relativity-Sony Records,Sounds Karma Rec.
To imagine Clive Davis, Carly E Simon, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper,Randy Edelman, Gordon Summer, Peter Cetera, Elton John, Will Jennings, Bryan Adams, Stephen Soundheim (well, yes) Anthony Newley, Eric Carmen and the co-writers all having their hits ripped on the same CD is hard to grasp but here it is. These great hits have been entrusted to John Barrowman because these great writers all knew John could and would give the songs a fresh voice that would honor their cherished hits with a new flavor.
John's clarity, versability, vocal prowness, intimacy and range have me spellbound in each song. Singing Time After Time is as if Johnn takes the song out of his pocket llke a proud photograph to show someone and shares it intimately with you. All the songs are intimate and you feel like a one person audience. My Song seems as if John is atop a mountain as he starts. John brings songs up then down then up again like a glistening yo-yo. Singing is fun for John and a delight to his listeners.
Before I give away anymore or before I start singing them (you'll be glad you can't hear me) I want to leave you with the feeling that this CD is a masterpiece of modern hits. A must-buy, must-have for all who enjoy the best in music. This CD IS the best you can get!
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