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|12. Sweet Leilani|
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Popular laid-back 1996 album.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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 The double tracked vocals of earlier versions have been replaced by the fuller, more confessional stylings of Chris Isaak circa 1996.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.
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
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
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I was drawn to buy this album for the track Sweet Leilani, my grand-daughter's name, but totally love the whole albumPublished on June 28 2014 by Marilyn Macqueen
Absolutely fantastic. Hard to believe this album is over 10 years old. I bought this for my brother for Christmas this year who has become a huge Jack Johnson fan, and recently... Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2008 by All About Music
Chris Isaak has one of the most beautiful voices in pop music. Here's a crooner who can really deliver, with a versatile instrument that can rise to powerful heights one minute,... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by Bruce Hodges
I'm not one of CHRIS ISAAK's biggest fan. I've only got one other CD of his - Blue. That being said, I did like this CD, but I'm still not a fan. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2004 by LEE
Two and one-half stars is more like it.
I'm writing this review on a steamy August day in Philadelphia. My wife and I are planning a BBQ. Read more
Forget Buffett. Mix yourself a big pitcher of margaritas and find yourself a hammock, back porch swing, lawn chair or whatever you have. Read morePublished on May 20 2003 by Paul C. Sullivan
This is his best in my opinion. Its a little less contemporary than his others but the music is just perfect to listen to while you're doing something relaxing. A must havePublished on May 7 2003 by K. Nelson
I heard part of the song while watching "Fools Rush In" I new instantly it was Chris Isaak because of the smooth calming effect of the song. Read morePublished on April 27 2003