Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Boulevard of Broken Dreams|
Complete Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
...BUT THE FIRST DISC IS ABSOLUTELY MARVELOUS...
Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 11/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To clarify my rating, I'll break it down by disc:disc one *****
disc two ***
disc three **This is actually an average of slightly over 3 stars -- but I don't want to give anyone the impression that there's not some fine music to be found here. As I mentioned above, the first album is excellent. At one time, I owned it as a single disc. It was loaned to someone and not returned for over a year -- assuming I would never see it again, I purchased the box set, since the cds were not available singly at the time.Disc one -- IT'S THE TALK OF THE TOWN -- shows, I believe, this band at the height of their abilities. Four vocalists (3 women, 1 man) backed by an orchestra approximating the instrumentation and arrangements found in the 1930s and 40s in America and England -- piano, guitar, bass, drums, saxes, trumpet, trombone, plus strings -- playing 'sad songs', lovingly chosen, arranged and performed. There are several standouts on this disc (almost every track) -- the spirit of the age is reproduced splendidly, with the added bonus of modern recording technology, allowing the listener to hear and appreciate every nuance. There are well-known classic songs here -- 'I cover the waterfront', 'I get along without you very well', 'Cottage for sale' -- as well as some that may not be as familiar -- the beautiful 'Clouds', for example. The band sounds like they're having fun with the concept, and the vocalists are never over the top.Disc two -- LONELY AVENUE -- presents us with some changes. One of the female singers, Marielle Tramp, is replaced by Johanna Spanjerberg. More critically, it seems that the band is already running out of quality material -- perhaps the second album (April 1986) was recorded too soon after the first (June 1985). It could also be the case that all of these songs were part of the band's repertoire throughout this period, and they simply put too many of the 'prime' selections on their first album -- a temptation that's hard to avoid. At any rate, the second disc just doesn't quite measure up to the first.The real disappointment came for me with disc three -- DANCING WITH TEARS IN MY EYES, recorded 'live' (according to the cover) in July 1987. By the time of this recording, vocalist Frank van Tijn had been replaced by Joop Thonhauser -- and while Joop doesn't have a bad voice, his style is so over the top that, for me, it takes a lot away from the mood of the music. The vocal arrangements in general are overdone on this disc -- particularly embarrassing are the two Cole Porter songs ('Night and day' and 'Love for sale'). The treatment given these two classic pieces of songwriting can only be explained by someone's misconception that the Andrews Sisters or (even worse!) the Manhattan Transfer represent accurate renditions of songs from this period. The subtleties and emotion that Porter wrote into these songs is completely destroyed by the arrangements here. The first time I heard them, I was so upset that my only recourse was to pull out my Ella Fitzgerald versions of these two songs to hear them as they were meant to be performed. Perhaps the fact that the band is from the Netherlands has something to do with it. They're obviously fascinated with this music, and this era -- but in immersing themselves in American culture from a distance, their grasp of this genre is a little slippery. I certainly can't fault them for trying -- but it sound a little like they lost interest (or focus?) toward the end.The most ironic thing about my whole experience with this box set is that my original single copy of the first album was returned shortly after I purchased the box. Oh well. I donated it to a friend (who, by the way, was instrumental in securing its eventual return), who tells me that he is enjoying it immensely. If you chance to run across IT'S THE TALK OF THE TOWN singly, snatch it up -- it's a great example of songs from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, done up in great style, with great respect."
Music for a broken hearted evening
Eric Stott | Albany, NY USA | 03/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"CD#1 (It's the Talk of the Town) is great- moody renditions of 30's and 40's numbers; even the fast numbers have a melancholy tinge to them. The theme seems to be quiet regret, lost love , and smiles covering heartbreak. All of this is perfectly played with a rich orchestra and tender vocals (Only small complaint- English is definitely not the first language of these singers)"Detour Ahead" is a fine discovery. Once I heard this 1949 number, with its clever yet poignant lyrics, I wondered why I'd never heard it before.This is definitely worth repeated listening."
Boulevard of Broken and unforgetable dreams
Mário | Portugal | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I Just Love these guys! They truly transport us to the 30's 20's.....the voices; the sound; the mood....i almost can imagine myself in those times...... REALLY GREAT! They shouldn't have stop playing...it's a shame."