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3.5 out of 5 stars
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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on October 13, 2014
The sound engineer who recorded should have a Grammy. It is the most perfect and impressive recording I know of. This disc will make you, and anyone who hears it fall in love with Hi-Fi again

On top of this, Diana's voice and the remarkable talent of the music ensemble who recorded this, including Diana's own awsome piano makes this an audio delight few can resist
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Two friends of mine have gotten SACD-capable device and purchased this disc after hearing it play in my living-room. It's just that good..
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on February 1, 2004
True jazz lovers argue that Krall only has reached such a high popularity, as she indeed has, thanks to a shrewd marketing. That argument could be used just as effectively on singers like Norah Jones. As for Krall, she has a soft and sexy voice that appeals to many mainstream listeners who aren't concerned so much about jazz and how she plays the piano.
The marketing people behind Diana Krall's music is of course tempted to polish and popularize the music as much as possible. As is seen at once when looking on the cover of _The Look Of Love_, this is what they have done. The album begins with S'Wonderful played with bossa nova rhytms and a laid back vocal. The whole album is actually very much inspired by bossa nova, which provides a romantic atmosphere - again suiting Krall's looks and voice and the many listeners.
On Krall's first albums, _Stepping Out_, _Only Trust Your Heart_, and _All For You_, the romantic atmosphere is somewhat missing. The marketing wasn't so much aware of her commercial oppertunities that they regulated her own sound. The albums as a result sound more raw, resulting in more piano from Krall and more jazz-like compositions and atmosphere. What i miss, though, when hearing her earlier work, is exactly what _The Look Of Love_ has to offer: the richness of the sound, the polished sound quality, the not so jazz-like songs etc. The intro on I Get Along Without You Very Well for instance, is beautiful and heartbreaking. So is all other songs on the album. I understand people's objections to Krall's music, but at the same time I feel that the music is gripping, moving, meaningful and whatever words there is to express good music.
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on June 6, 2002
I have all of Ms. Krall's superb recordings but I believe TLOL outshines everything she did before.
I've listened to the album probably 100 times in the last eight months. It's heady, mood-altering music. At the end of a long, maybe rotten, day, the opening notes of "S' Wonderful" sink in like that first sip of scotch. Krall's haughty cover of "Cry Me a River" makes Julie London sound like Julie Andrews. I've loved the London version since I was a teen but I bought "A Touch of Class" just to compare and it's true. At times, I wish Spanish were my native tongue so I could appreciate what must be a sexy Canadian-accented "Besame Mucho." (Remember how cool Astrud Gilberto sounded on "The Girl from Ipanema?")
Matters of taste aside, here are some facts to consider before purchasing this album:
*Jazz Twits: if your thing is listening to "risky," "offensive" treatments and other silliness, this CD won't look good in your collection. It's for entertainment purposes only.
*The ten tracks do have similar arrangements but the melodies are all distinct. Sameness, per se, is not bad. Check out "The Intimate Ella" for an example of 13 identical arrangements.
*The orchestra does not drown out the singer, reviews to the contrary. Krall's voice is characteristically so clear and prominent that you can hear intimate vocal sounds. (The production won Al Schmitt a Grammy for engineering.)
*Soothing, down-tempo bosas may not be for all the people, all the time. Reasonable people understand this and move on. Personally, I wish this had been a two-volume set.
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on June 5, 2002
Produced by Tommy Lipuma with orchestral arrangements by Claus Ogerman this is Diana Krall's finest work. In the hands of these three all ten of these familiar standards are new and fresh. This is the kind of work Sinatra used to do with the lush arrangements of Nelson Riddle or Gordon Jenkins. Her luciously husky voice backed by Ogerman's arrangements are a win-win. The last minute of Besame Mucho and the opening arrangements of Dancing in the Dark and I'll Remember You are pure slices of heaven. Krall's voice is at it's soulful best on Cry Me a River and Maybe You'll Be There. This Cd stands apart from Krall's other efforts due to the beautiful orchestal arrangements of Ogerman and the concious effort of both Diana Krall and her long time producer Tommy Lipuma to create a work of restrained artistic beauty.
They have succeeded. The first listening of this CD will be a subtle revelation of a great artist finding her "voice". The Jazz is light and restrained. The result is a CD that you fall in love with a little more each time you hear it. This is something special musically and is not to be missed. Like the first cut says, S'wonderful!
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on May 16, 2002
Folks, I love Diana as much as the next fan. Her past work is true genius, with her vocal skills and musicianship truly making her unique among jazz singers, especially young and pretty ones. Like most of the reviewers, I do hope that Diana will again record a "basic" jazz album in the future in which she is more of an integral part of the music, taking more "risks" vocally as well as on the piano. BUT...
...this does NOT mean that this album should be avoided, unless you just simply hate strings! It is mellow, smooth jazz as you might hear in the 1950's - 1960's, with a torchy quality but short of being true torch. Diana's vocals are restrained, but always pleasant and distinctive (I love the way she says the word "paradise" in "S'Wonderful"); her piano playing is relegated to a few solos, while the orchestration is ever-present in the music. I do not agree that the orchestration is screechy, nor is it ever overbearing. If you think of Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable" album, you've got the right idea. Like that album, all of the cuts on "The Look of Love" are winners, with the string arrangements tastefully executed on each track.
This album would be worth 5 stars in any other case; but because we all expect more from Ms. Krall, I'm giving it 4. As such, it deserves a place in anyone's collection who appreciates quiet, yet intricate and sophisticated music. You owe it to yourself!
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on April 16, 2002
There is no question that Diana Krall's recent recording have created quite a stir and legitimate concern for her fans. How many times have we seen this scenario before? Nat "King" Cole, one of Diana Krall's influences, started out with an influential jazz-oriented and ground-breaking piano, bass and guitar trio only to abandon same for the relative security of large orchestra pop music. Were his fans disappointed? You bet!
Ironically, it would seem that Diana is doing the same thing. But unlike most others, she is continuing a normal development of her gifts. Her producers know that. THE LOOK OF LOVE cd is calculated, well thought out and produced and ultimately well intentioned. The music is also very good with its principal failing being a little too much orchestration and not enough of that small group intimacy. But it CLEARLY does not paint a picture of impending sell-out or pop music doom.
While THE LOOK OF LOVE has definite pop music overtones her expressions of yearning, lost love and heartache are definitely jazz/blues oriented and are moving, captivating and totally convincing. There are several standout selections, with my personal favorite being I GET ALONG WITHOUT YOU VERY WELL (since so many reviewers have so many different favorites from this cd, how can it be all that bad?). Listen in particular to the very ending of the song as she concludes with "...it would surely break my heart." To these ears, she is almost in tears. Very moving and it put me in tears as well.
Will Diana Krall become forever lost in an encroaching pop maelstrom? I hope hot. And I think not. Unlike some of her predecessors, I believe she is too committed and devoted to that which got her here. She is simply too unique and special, gracing an otherwise lackluster musical environment. And beside, there are at least two eager young lasses coming up in the jazz idiom named Jane Monheit and Norah Jones just to keep Diana looking over her shoulder. And let's not forget the wonderful Diane Reeves either.
So let's all relax and just enjoy this cd and be grateful that we still have the very special Diana Krall!
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on April 9, 2002
Looking more like Traci Lords than a jazz singer, Diana Krall isn't what you'd expect when you think of blues vocalists. But her extremely effortless and efficient voice comes through quite well in her latest CD, even though her piano skills are unused. Krall compliments the already-faultless London Symphony Orchestra in creating a number of well-crafted tracks that relaxes and electrifies the listener at the same time. Following up her tremendously popular tribute to the Nat King Cole trio in All For You, and then her Grammy-winning When I Look In Your Eyes was never going to be easy, but she seems to have succeeded in putting together some wholly pleasurable and fully tranquil tracks that harkens the memory back to the songs of 'Ol' Blue Eyes' - Frank Sinatra. "I Remember You" in particular sounds like it was written by Frankie himself for Krall, combining an excellent guitar beat with an unexpectedly adequately-performed piano tune. It's followed by "Cry Me a River", which, to us at least, sounds straight out of a blues joint in the 50's - entirely depressing yet entirely enjoyable at the same time. However, the lack of her piano dexterity on the album destroys what could've have been some superb songs. Both the opening track "S'Wonderful" and "I Get Along Without You Very Well" sound too orchestral for our tastes, using a plentiful number of flutes, violins and other instruments, while "Besame Mucho", the now-formulaic 'Spanish' track on every jazz CD, seems to forced onto the listener with Krall sounding like a foreigner trying to speak the language. Despite those minor failings, The Look of Love is a compelling yet flawed album that's a respectable, but not outstanding, album.
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on March 8, 2002
On this album, Diana Krall trades in her tiny back-up band for a full orchestra (both the London Symphony Orchestra and a Los Angeles session orchestra). She revels in the plush, expanded sound. The album opens with "S'Wonderful" and to my mind this is the only tune on which Krall doesn't quite succeed--instead of embracing the deliriously happy nature of the lyrics, she turns the song into one of her signature smoothy-smoothy efforts. It doesn't serve the song well, but she sounds fine here.
Better elsewhere on the album are efforts like "Cry Me A River." On this, Krall gives a musical shrug and tells her lover to go to hell. Not bothering to temper her disdain with regret, the song has the finality of a damnation. On "The Night We Called It a Day," Krall follows the lyrics in looking everywhere but at her ex-lover, fearing the pain and recrimination she'll find there. Hoagy Carmichael would definitely approve of Krall's rendition of his marvelous "I Get Along Without You Very Well." She takes steps towards trying to convince herself she's better off and does a superb job of employing hesitation and tentative phrasing to highlight the doubt implicit in the song.
May I make a request of the marketing folks? You don't need to keep selling Diana Krall. A step in the direction of fewer she's-all-cleavage-and-long-legs photographs would go a long way towards lending gravity to the serious reputation she richly deserves.
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on February 25, 2002
For this cd Romance was in the air. It was all around and around the listner. What a wonderful feeling. Awesome!
For this project, Diana's voice sounded great. It was real smooth and sedudicative. It never sounded better.
The repertoire that Diana performed was a good one. I personally liked most of the tunes.
For the most part the accompaniment was a good one. The jazz ensemble and orcheatra did a good job on the basic songs, but I felt like there were some problems with the length of the songs.
It appears that there was too much wasted time on most of the songs. For example on a lot of the songs the orchestra played a long introduction before the melody every appeared. On some songs the orchestra played a long play down after the melody had long ago ended. I felt like this took a lot away from the basic song, this unneeded improvising.
Despite the problems described above, I still liked this cd.
Please do your sweetheart a favor and buy this cd. She will love you to death for it.
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on February 24, 2002
I understand why so many of this album's admirers have passionately defended Diana Krall's freedom to style her music and albums according to her own taste, yet I CANNOT deny that "The Look of Love" had disappointed my expectations. It is a stylistic departure from her previous albums, and IMO, it is not a good one.
Now, I am not a classical jazz purist/critic, so my argument is not that she is "selling out" or whatsoever. My main complaint is the monotonous musical arrangement of the entire album. Compared to Krall's magnum opus "When I Look in Your Eyes", there is so little variety of pace and musical colour here. The songs all share the same dreary, slow plodding tempo, and coupled with that lush, slightly muzaky orchestral background, this disc is mainly valuable only as wallpaper accompaniment for a long hibernation in the bathtub, or a long languorous smooch-fest in the bed. I'd guess this IS its main purpose for being. If you are looking for a Krall CD which thrills you with stylish piano-playing, toe-tapping rhythmic verve and witty vocal delivery, "When I Look in Your Eyes" or "Love Scenes" is the better bet.
Also, not helping this album in my assessment is its noticeable sloppy production values. What were the engineers thinking? I own a top-notch stereo system and all the past Krall CDs have sounded absolutely gorgeous - pure, crisp and crystalline - on it. In comparison, the sound balance of this CD is HORRENDOUS. Whatever instrumental/string/vocal textures there were, they are glazed over by an odd, murky sonic cloud --- almost as if Krall and band are performing for you from behind a curtain of toilet-tissue. S'Mushy! Not helping either is that closed-in, coffin-like boxy atmosphere --- which gives the effect that the album is in mono, not stereo sound. I wonder if this was intentional...?
Anyway, S'Wonderful, Besame Mucho are the best tracks on this album. In all, this album remains a must-hear for Diana Krall fans because her glorious voice is still very much in evidence here - despite the glaring faults. As for the musical accompaniments, hmm, I pray that she returns to her roots for her next album.
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