Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Harry Connick Jr.|
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
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One of my very favorite CD's
schnoodc | Greenbelt, MD USA | 08/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a CD I just can't live without. I've owned this album for the better part of the last decade and it has never ceased to sound fresh, funky, and fun. This is not big band Connick. This is well-done 70's funk-influenced rock-tinged music."
Ditching the big band for the big beat
Greg Brady | Capital City | 11/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably the closest Connick's ever been to a "mainstream" pop album. But that's only in the most liberal sense of the word "mainstream". This album's hard to fit into a convenient box stylistically.
On some tracks bongos give it a sort of retro 60s hipster vibe ("Trouble"), others aspire to add to the Mardi Gras canon ("Here Comes the Big Parade"), HEADHUNTERS-era Herbie Hancock rears its head ("Joe Slam and the Spaceship"), there's even a suggestion of 80s new wave outfit The Art of Noise ("Follow the Music"). In other words, if you're a big fan of his albums WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, WE ARE IN LOVE, or RED LIGHT, BLUE LIGHT, you may find yourself scratching your head. If there's one thread that ties most of this together, it's R&B. This might be the album that showcases Connick's New Orleans roots more than any other.
"Here Comes the Big Parade" is readymade for the second line, a flat-out Nawlins brass band march tune. "Trouble" is spare in the extreme with a skeletal piano line from Harry's fingers and Michael Ward's conga as Connick tells his paramour ("Dawlin' I got you/And baby, you're trouble...Used to not need nothin'/Now trouble is all I need") "(I Could Only) Whisper Your Name" is another winner as Connick proclaims love to be all he needs in the face of proclamations of peace or eternal paradise to come. "Booker" is Harry's do-it-yourself cut: He plays piano, bass, guitar, drums and tambourine on the tale of a man who "died of a broken heart".
"Follow the Music" and "Follow the Music Further" are mostly just a by-the-numbers groove with a processed vocal recitation from frequent Connick collaborator Ramsey MacLean. "She..Blessed be the One" is nothing more than throwaway filler.
This is very much a "vibe" album. Chances are if you like ANY of it, you'll like it all. Try the samples for the highlight songs...if you don't like 'em don't give up on Connick altogether . It probably means this "side" of him ain't for you. If you're in that category, try RED LIGHT, BLUE LIGHT or WE ARE IN LOVE."
Underrated Rhythm-Driven Masterpiece
Matt Butler | Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada | 01/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Critics and fans, who were used to Harry Connick Jr.'s big band jazz, didn't know what to make of this raucous album of funk, rock, and dixieland. For the most part they wrote it off as something of an indulgence, a foray into Connick's New Orleans roots that amounted to a diversion from his more 'serious' work. This is too bad, because it has caused many people to overlook one of the most original and enjoyable recordings of the nineties.The composition and arrangement is brilliant, but this album is first and foremost about groove. The mood ranges from hyperkinetic mardi gras dance numbers to spare funk laid so far back it feels like it might topple over. But the groove is always rock-solid, acting as the centrepiece of each tune. The vocals, horn lines, and solos don't rest on TOP of the groove so much as become PART of it. This is an album that makes you want to grin an bop along, but you're just as likely to find yourself singing a bass line or organ riff as a melody.The musicianship is top-notch, from the tight, understated drumming, to the eloquent wah-wah guitar, to Connick's own wizardry at the piano. The lyrics are wry and thoughtful, and even the two weirdly nonhuman spoken word interludes seem to work. This album is sophisticated yet accessible, genre-spanning yet cohesive, accomplished yet easygoing, and above all, huge fun."