Moving On is Oleta Adams' most straightforward and mainstream release to date. Considering that she is working with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's producers (Rich & Friedman and Vassal Benford, respectively), the shift in sound shouldn't come as much of a surprise. What is a surprise is how well Adams' subtle voice works in this setting, adding extra textures to the subdued arrangements. Unfortunately, that can't compensate for inconsistent material, but Moving On remains a fine contemporary soul record.
You'd get differing answers to the question of whether John Adams is America's greatest living composer, but he's the one to whom the country turned in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The demand for new work from him has only increased since he achieved senior citizen status. Fortunately, he's been able to meet that demand with distinctive large-scale works. Consider 2016's Scheherazade.2, recorded here by the violinist who premiered the work, Leila Josefowicz, with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under David Robertson. The piece succeeds on several levels. It is, outwardly, as close as Adams has come to writing a big Romantic violin concerto, and it will no doubt be welcomed into the concert repertory as such. Yet go into it more deeply, and it seems less a concerto than – well, what, exactly? Adams calls it a "dramatic symphony." English critic Nick Breckenfield has compared it to Berlioz's Harold in Italy, with the soloist representing an individual making her way through a series of adventures that may have a threatening tinge.