On the Who's final album with Keith Moon, their trademark honest power started to get diluted by fatigue and a sense that the group's collective vision was beginning to fade. As instrumentalists, their skills were intact…
Pieta Brown paints a big picture with tiny, beautiful strokes on her deeply introspective set Remember the Sun. Like an impressionist masterpiece, whose dabs of color only take form when you step back to see the whole, so it is with this set, whose overarching themes gradually form intertwining patterns. The sullied "Innocent Blues" is a dreamy, musing number that searches in vain for peace, a clean environment, and freedom for all. But regardless of the turmoil, the world keeps spinning and we all keep "Rollin' Down the Track," doing the best we can, with Brown playing her country blues away the only way she knows how.
The quality of the recorded sound is so perfectly clear on this recording, like finely etched crystal, while at the same time it is so robust and resonant, that it is difficult to believe that the piano played on these two marvelous CDs is a replica of a 1785 Walter fortepiano, a smaller and much more fragile instrument than today's modern concert grand pianos.
Plenty of bands and artists have tried to perfect chamber pop into an ideal mixture classical ideas, instrumentation, and compositions with modern sensibilities and textures. Some end up landing mostly in the pop category with a few strings and horns sprinkled in, other veer far into the experimental and lose any pop appeal entirely. But Neil Hannon, leader and only consistent member of the Divine Comedy, apparently hit the ideal balance sometime in the late ‘90s and just keeps running with it. But Foreverland doesn’t sound like the result of an artist that’s been at it for over two decades. It’s still fresh and impressively in tune with the rest of the musical landscape.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. We'd hate to get caught in the force of a baritone explosion – as the horns are so big, that's a lot of metal to have to deal with! Fortunately, pianist Rein De Graaf's got the proceedings here on rock-solid territory – providing just the right sort of swing to keep things moving, yet also keep things in control – while both Ronnie Cuber and Nick Brigola open up on the bigger horns – reminding us why they're some of the few players able to carry forward the deftly soulful legacies of earlier baritone greats like Pepper Adams or Serge Chaloff! The album's a live one, and tracks are nice and long – plenty of room for solos on titles that include "Caravan", "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise", "Crack Down", "Night In Tunisia", and "Blue Train" – plus two short beautiful ballads, "What's New" and "In A Sentimental Mood".
This box set delivers both a little more and a little less than it promises – though the packaging is so cryptic that it's difficult to say precisely what it does promise. Billed as The Pye Album Collection, it contains ten nicely packaged mini-LP sleeves (each with an appropriate inner sleeve to protect the CD – are you listening, Sony Classical, Rhino Handmade, and Hip-O Select?) representing the group's ten original albums for Pye Records.
The exceptional atmosphere of this acoustic concert reflects not only in the music but also the familiar setting; candles instead of a laser show, a string section instead of keyboard sounds, reduction instead of inflation. Floydian grandeur turns into intimate music experience, borne by creativity, wit, charm and respect for the makers who are Pink Floyd. This DVD, recorded at the sold out Stadttheater Aschaffenburg, impressively documents the memorable evening and manifests the music of Pink Floyd in a way that it has not been heard before.
The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 5 collects more pop and rock holiday tunes, this time venturing further into the '70s and '80s with songs like Paul McCartney & Wings' "Wonderful Christmastime," Hall & Oates' "Jingle Bell Rock," and Barry Manilow's "It's Just Another New Year's Eve." The collection still features traditional pop chestnuts, including Dean Martin's "A Marshmallow World," Johnny Mathis' "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)," and Andy Williams' "Sleigh Ride," but this volume's overall feel is more contemporary than classic. Other highlights include Manhattan Transfer's "A Christmas Love Song," the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping," the Tokens' "Little Drummer Boy," and the Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." If The Ultimate Christmas Album, Vol. 5 isn't necessarily the most coherent volume in the series, it's certainly one of the most interesting.