Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
A little bit of everything...
R. Bourbeau | Maui, Hawaii, USA | 08/24/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"...which is not always a good thing. Neil Sedaka's 1995 release, Tuneweaver, consists of songs mostly recorded in 1991 and is a past-present-future Mulligan's Stew of Sedaka songs that include re-recordings (almost note-for-note) of his early-'60s hits; new arrangements of some of his mid-'70s hits; and introductions to his most recent compositions. For an inductee to Neil Sedaka's music, it's a good sampling. For the die-hard Sedakaphiles, it's purely eclectic.
After seeing his #1 pop ditty from 1962, "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," return to the Top 10 in 1975 as a slowed-down ballad, Sedaka thought the same might hold true for "Love Will Keep Us Together," one of his most popular compositions ever, which became a phenomenal #1 cover hit for The Captain and Tennille in 1975 and, in fact, was a global smash and was the most successful U.S. single of 1975--covering all recordings and artists. He was, in effect, in competition with himself: besides the ballad version of "Breaking Up," The Captain and Tennille's megasmash even trumped his own #1 hits from 1975, "Laughter in the Rain" and "Bad Blood," the latter of which (a duet with Elton John) ended up being the most commercially successful single of his entire recording career, spending three weeks at #1 and being certified gold.
The ballad version of "Love Will Keep Us Together" contained in "Tuneweaver" is slow, lush, and string-laden, but maybe just this side of sappy. "Breaking" was more of a jazz ballad; "Love" has more of a retro, late-'40s feel. You decide.
Sedaka makes the most of his love for Greece apparent in "My Athena" and "Desiree," complete with authentic instrumentation. His newer pop-driven songs include "Blinded by Your Love," "You Turn Me On," and "No Getting Over You." "Blinded" is a danceable track with plenty of R&B potential; "Getting" is a deeply satisfying but mournful guy's lament about the end of a relationship and reminds the listener why Sedaka found a second shot at stardom in the '70s with his love ballads, too, in addition to his breezy pop songs. "My Son and I" is a sweet, simplistic ode to the younger of his two children, Marc; and "The Miracle Song" is sort of a Sedaka version of "The Wind Beneath My Wings."
The re-recordings of his early hits may work best here. He's had the chance to improve on some of the production disappointments of the early hits (my worst pet peeve being the horrendously off-key female backup vocalists in the original version of "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"). Thankfully, this time, the ladies get it right. Difficult-to-find recordings like "Clown Time" and "Rainy Day Bells" are included, along with his new versions of lesser early hits "Little Devil" and "Run, Samson, Run," the latter of which is a delightful nod to the Bible story of Delilah and her title quarry with all that hair.
Actually, I'd prefer to give the review 3-1/2 stars, but there's no room for the "half" star. It's a good album by an enduring talent, and definitely worth your purchase.
Rating: *** (out of 5)...Updated from original review, 28 Sept 06 / 24 Jan 08 -- BOB BOURBEAU"