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Baja Sessions

4.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 8 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B000002N9X
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Pretty Girls Don't Cry
2. Back On Your Side
3. Only The Lonely
4. South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way)
5. I Wonder
6. Wrong To Love You
7. Waiting For My Lucky Day
8. Yellow Bird
9. Two Hearts
10. Return To Me
11. Dancin'
12. Sweet Leilani
13. Think Of Tomorrow

Product Description

Product Description

Popular laid-back 1996 album.

Amazon.ca

Chris Isaak's Baja Sessions was inspired by a surfing trip the singer took with his band to the Baja California section of Mexico. As the salt in their hair dried in the sun, the four musicians sat around with acoustic guitars and a small drum set, and played some tunes from Isaak's previous albums, some of his unrecorded originals, and some of his favourite old songs by the likes of Roy Orbison, Gene Autry, and Arthur Lyman. The quartet so enjoyed the laid-back, mostly acoustic, Spanish-tinged flavour of these holiday jams that when they got home to the Bay Area, they recreated them in the studio. Baja Sessions is like an Unplugged album, except the sun-drenched, south-of-the-border mood gives these remakes a far fresher twist than most such projects. --Geoffrey Himes


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Clocking in at only 39 minutes, and recorded in "Baja" San Francisco, this is more a placeholder than a true followup to last year's Forever Blue. Included among the thirteen tracks are reworkings of cuts from Isaak's 1985 LP Silvertone, including "Pretty Girls Don't Cry" "Back On Your Side" and "Dancin'", a cover of 1989's "Wrong to Love You," and a new version of 1993's "Two Hearts." Also included is a rendering of Roy Orbison's signature tune, "Only the Lonely," featuring what seems to be the C&H Sugar jingle used as a guitar riff. Rounding out the covers are the chestnuts "South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)" "Yellow Bird" and "Sweet Leilani." In total, Isaak adds only four new titles to this LP.
What's Isaak's motivation for covering Isaak? Apparently a desire to apply his signature sound to compositions recorded before his penmanship was so refined. The double tracked vocals of earlier versions have been replaced by the fuller, more confessional stylings of Chris Isaak circa 1996. The production is stripped of mid-80s gloss and given Isaak's now characteristic sound: sparse arrangements with a bass-heavy balance and crystalline guitars that compliment Isaak's languorous vocals. Given the explosive popularity of 1989's Heart Shaped World, the reworked songs provide a fan-friendly introduction to some of Isaak's earlier material.
More of an Isaak-snack than a full meal. But it's a tasty snack.
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Format: Audio CD
Baja Sessions is something of an unplugged album from Chris Isaak & Silvertone. It is an acoustic based album that includes reworkings of older songs, unreleased songs and covers, but they all have a Latin flavor to them. The album was inspired by jam sessions the band had on a surfing trip in Baja, Mexico and it has an appropriate loose feel. The reworked songs are all quite interesting. "Two Hearts" has a samba feel to it, "Dancin'" sounds down right lively compared to its downbeat original version and "Wrong To Love You" is slowed down to a shuffle. "Pretty Girls Don't Cry" is quite good as is the song that sums up the feel of the album "South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way)". It was only a matter of time before he recorded a song by his prototype, Roy Orbison and his take on "Only The Lonely" is reverential and dead on. The album works on every level and shows why Mr. Isaak's continues to be an artist of high regard.
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By A Customer on Feb. 26 2001
Format: Audio CD
If you could only have one Chris Isaak disc, this is the one. Fortunately there are many of his discs to have. Until last year, I had not owned any of his music. I always enjoyed listening to his popular stuff like "Wicked Game" on the radio and my daughters were always big fans, but the first time I heard him do "Only the Lonely" on the radio, I decided it was time to buy some. I usually like to read the reviews to get a sense of what people are saying about an album, but I picked this one up on impulse and because it had "Only the Lonely" on it. When I popped it into the player, I was blown away. The guitar playing is superb and the disc really is a showcase for Chris's vocal artistry. There isn't a bad song on the album. I listen to this disc every week, -it never gets old. I could say something nice about every song, but you should listen for yourself. My only concern is when will he ever do something this wonderful again?
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By A Customer on April 18 2001
Format: Audio CD
For those familiar with Isaak, this is not the standard fare. There
are new and previously recorded songs, and covers (such as Roy Orbison's
"Only the Lonely"). This compilation is fresh, and
absolutely not a rehash compilation, as some musicians throw
together.
The guitar is more subdued in these versions, and has an
enchanting Mexican twang. This effect is natural, and doesn't come off
as staged. Isaak's voice is a couple notches below normal -- and is
incredibly sexy with a sound like rough velvet. Even with songs of
heartbreak and yearning, they don't have the saddening overtones as
their original counterparts. Rather, they come off as songs which have
been handed down over the years, and the sadness belongs to someone no
one remembers the name of.
This is an incredible cd, and obviously a
labor of love for Isaak. The songs will transport you to a more
relaxing mindset, and have you yearning to pack a bag and hop on a
plane.
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Format: Audio CD
In some senses, this may be the best Chris Isaak album. It's very easy to listen to all the way through, the low-key arrangements of torch-songs-- both classics and originals-- are the perfect fit for Isaak's bluer-than-blue delivery. His pharsing is so carefully wrought, the playing so sympathetic, it's hard not to love this album. Best listened to alone, in the dark. If you can listen to his reading of "Waiting for my lucky" without getting a lump in your throat, there is something wrong with your soul!
The recording quality reminds one of Orbison's early 60's work-- it has the "Living Stereo"-like quality--- a liquid, almost "splashy" midrange, what sounds like plenty of warm, room-reverb, vocals that sound like they are 2 feet in front of you, lots of spatial cues. This sonic motif adds to the album's overall coherence.
Wonderful.
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