Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B
Throughout her illustrious career, Vanessa Williams has maintained a reputation as one of the most respected as one of the most respected and multifaceted entertainers in the world amassing accomplishments and accolates on... more »
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Throughout her illustrious career, Vanessa Williams has maintained a reputation as one of the most respected as one of the most respected and multifaceted entertainers in the world amassing accomplishments and accolates one after another. Vanessa fans can bask in the warmth of the Valentine's Day spirit with Everlasting Love, a collection of '70s love song covers.
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The Right Stuff for Vanessa in 2005!
J. Lund | SoCal, USA | 01/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, extra points to Vanessa Williams for using the lesser-known Rufus/Chaka Khan tune "Everlasting Love," rather than the too-familiar Carl Carlton song with the same name (that seems to get revived every year by somebody). Even more extra points to include -- and put her stamp on -- the Ohio Players' underrated soul ballad "Let's Love." In fact, although my aversion to nostalgia and most smooth jazz/soul had me unsure if I would get much out of this CD, the parts come together with enough inspiration on EVERLASTING LOVE to have me pretty enthusiastic about the results. While I've enjoyed a lot of Vanessa's prior music, i.m.o. this album shows off her voice most consistently to best advantage.
As with a lot of contemporary artists who've reached backwards in time for material (Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, even Rod Stewart to name just a few), Vanessa is doing the same here. However, whereas most of the others focused on tunes written prior to the rock era, Vanessa planted herself a few generations forward on the pop culture timeline, landing in the 1970s. Specifically, she selected tunes that inspired her as she was growing up, and fortunately for us she passes along these emotive connections to the listener, offering her strongest vocals to date. Furthermore, although the tunes are among the most memorable of that decade, most benefit from not having been redone extensively ("You Are Everything" excepted; a great song but too-familiar via soooo many cover versions over the years).
Some may quibble that the album -- with a live band and classic tunes -- seems stuck in a time warp (ala Anita Baker's most recent album). Yet who wants to see a class act such as Vanessa trying to compete with the boys and girls on today's hit list (as such peers as Janet, Mariah, Toni, and Madonna get caught up in doing to varying degrees)? Sure, there are other potentially rewarding options for Vanessa (neo-soul, vocal jazz, etc.). But sometimes an artist just has to go with what feels right, and EVERLASTING LOVE really seems to have the right feeling, one that overrides any preferences that the listener may come in with (such as those I listed myself)."
Recalls the glory years of the Quiet Storm Radio Format
James E. Bagley | Sanatoga, PA USA | 04/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like Vanessa Williams, I grew up in the 70s listening to r&b and pop music on the radio, so I am familiar with all of the remakes on her fine new cd. It probably doesn't matter whether you already know the tunes or not. Vanessa and producer Rob Mathes are faithful enough to each rendition so that you aren't jarred by their approach, but they spruce up the arrangements - usually in a jazz lite manner - so that they make each track a new experience.
Vanessa's selections include less obvious selections from some of her musical heroes: Rufus featuring Chaka Khan ("Everlasting Love"), Stevie Wonder ("Send One Your Love"), and the Isley Brothers ("Harvest For The World"). She also tackles some of the biggest hits of the 70s by less successful artists such as Al Wilson's "Show And Tell" and my favorite track on the cd, Billy Preston & Syreeta's "With You I'm Born Again," included here as a collaboration with George Benson.
After a radio tuning intro, the next ten tracks on this cd are all soothing ballads that collectively take me back to the glory days of the Quiet Storm radio format in the `80s. Then the cd temporarily kicks into overdrive with the uptempo funksters "I'll Be Good To You" (here a duet with James D-Train Williams) and "Harvest For The World." The new composition "Today And Everyday" (its title inspired by a poem by Vanessa's soon to be ex-hubby Rick Fox) ends the proceedings as they began, gently and sweetly.
Throughout this cd, Vanessa's vocals are crystal clear, as usual. The production is refreshingly unclutered. Fans of Vanessa's, `70s music, and lite soul will enjoy this cd immensely.
Socalmusicguy | Redondo Beach, CA USA | 08/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased "Everlasting Love" the day it came out, and I've been addicted to it since. I was fortunate enough to hear Vanessa sing these songs live, here in L.A., when she toured. She was AMAZING! I own all of Vanessa Williams' CDs, and this collection is fantastic! She sounds better than ever (which I didn't know was possible!) and her song selections are great. I wasn't around in the 70s to enjoy these songs their first time around, but Vanessa brings life to the music of that decade! I am usually not too fond of that era of music, but when Vanessa sings it, I am mesmerized. My favorite tracks are: "With You I'm Born Again," "Everlasting Love," "Never Can Say Goodbye," "You Are Everything," "Harvest for the World" and "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." I love the whole CD, but I must admit that "Send One Your Love" and "Let's Love" had to grow on me. But, they did! This CD is great for true fans because it has the bonus track, "Today and Everyday," which is a song that was based on a poem written by Rick Fox. This CD features Rob Mathes' production, the London Session Orchestra's magical strings, George Benson's talents, and more! If you want to relax to Vanessa's soothing vocals, or dance (there are a few upbeat tracks--such as "Harvest..." and "I'll Be Good to You.") your heart out, pop in the CD "Everlasting Love." Another job well done, Vanessa!"