Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Presenting Karen Akers
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Similarly Requested CDs
Fascinating debut album of cabaret singer extraordinaire.
Mary Whipple | New England | 02/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For anyone who is a fan of Karen Akers, this CD is a special treat. Her debut performance, the album came about in an unusual way. "Discovered" by Christian Blackwood when she was singing in New York in 1981, Akers was brought to Germany to make a 45-minute TV special for him, which eventually led to her first European tour. When this video special was retitled "Presenting Karen Akers," it then made its way back across the Atlantic, where it was presented to an American audience by PBS. This recording features the music from the video special.
Akers's full, rich contralto and her clear diction give particular resonance to her dramatically powerful cabaret repertoire here. With simple accompaniments, sometimes just a single piano, she ranges from almost a whisper in "Sometimes When We Touch," to a wailing torch song in "Taught By Experts," a syncopated, jazz performance (sung in German) on "Cloud of Music," and a heart-rending "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," which almost out-Piafs Piaf. Her sense of timing gives her lyrics even more power, and her chromatic changes give new emphasis to some familiar songs and lyrical narratives. As always, her power is daunting, leaving her in total control of her material and her audience.
Akers sings easily in three languages here--English, French, and German--and it is not surprising that she later made highly successful recordings entirely in German and in French. Though none of the songs on this album are really "hers," and some of the songs are too thin for her voice and talent (most notably "Always a Woman" and "Sometimes When We Touch"), she does wring the heart on some lesser known songs--"I Met a Man Today," about a casual affair that meant nothing to her, and "After the Show," in which she gradually increases the tempo as she tries to persuade an old lover/friend to meet her after the show to reminisce about old times.
Those who are familiar with Akers's later repertoire will be particularly interested in this debut recording--she clearly has it all here and is ready to unleash it! Mary Whipple