Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B
This is Vanessa Williams' Concord Records debut and her first album in more than four years. In her own words, The Real Thing is "a potpourri of breezy Latin rhythms, sultry jazz standards and dreamy pop sketches," and de... more »
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This is Vanessa Williams' Concord Records debut and her first album in more than four years. In her own words, The Real Thing is "a potpourri of breezy Latin rhythms, sultry jazz standards and dreamy pop sketches," and delves into the sophisticated pop and R&B that have been the hallmark of her dynamic musical career. Vanessa has garnered a total of 16 Grammy nominations and sold millions of albums throughout her musical career. She continues be one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment, who has conquered the musical charts, Broadway, videos, TV and motion pictures. Vanessa Williams can currently be seen in the hit television series Ugly Betty and in the blockbuster film Hannah Montana: The Movie. The Real Thing is produced by Grammy Award winner Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Keith Thomas, Rob Mathes, and Rex Rideout.
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Member CD Reviews
Mark T. from ENID, OK
Reviewed on 9/29/2013...
Real Big Thing.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Vanessa Williams is The Real Thing
Seon Mcdonald | Brooklyn, NY | 06/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Its no secret that I love Vanessa Williams in terms of her acting and music presence. I have seen her in concert twice and each time has been phenomenal. I have had the chance to listen to the album for a while now and here is my review!
Very sensual and romantic, with a catchy hook that keeps you humming breathless long after the song is over. Vanessa is known for her soft take on romance and this is a stellar track to open the album.
2. Hello Like Before.
Love this one a lot. I love jazz, and what made this song really stand out is the clear, pitch perfect vocals, along with the string arrangements and oh that sax! The lyrics are memorable and poignant, and Vanessa pours such emotion into the song, its hard not to reminance on your past loves.
3. Loving You.
Full blown jazz, that boasts great lyrics. I am not surprised Babyface penned this one. A sure winner at Weddings and smoky jazz clubs.
4. Just Friends.
Great song. Vanessa is stunning in the video and caresses the ear with her pristine vocal styling and charisma. Again penned by Babyface, the tune is memorable and should do well on the charts with the right promotion. Get it on the airwaves.
5. The Real Thing.
Vanessa loves to salsa. If you've been to her concerts, she always end with "Betcha Never" in full blown salsa splendor. This song is a hit. I was shocked at first when I realized it floated on a full blown spanish rhythm but immediately got sucked in with her perfect take on the Stevie Wonder written ballad. Again get it on the air, shrill it on Dancing with the stars, do a video for it. It's a solid track.
The remaining tracks "Lazy Afternoon" and "Come On Strong", lie on the jazz scale with the former being a soothing afternoon ode of jazz and cocktails with the latter paying homage to Wilhelmina Slater. Its campy and playful, much like her character which as we know, if you're going to come to Willy, you better come on strong!
"Close to You", to me is the most disappointing track. I like the song, but hate the arraignment. Vanessa sounds great, but the song falls a little flat because of its lackluster production. Its a shame because Vanessa looks downright sultry in the video.
"I Fell In" seems strange among this collection, sounding more pop than along the lines of Jazz or latin music. The arrangement do get too heavy at times, obscuring rather than highlighting Vanessa's vocals. It doesn't quite reach the standards of "Save The Best For Last", but then again, what song can ever match the classic.
October Sky, features a duet with Javier, whose second album I own. It was a pleasant surprise, though he's barely in the song vocally. Vanessa leads the way through much of the song, and thats fine because she sounds superb.
And finally closing the album is "If there is no song", Vanessa once again mesmerizes us with fine vocals in breathy latin vibes.
I must profess my excitement for Vanessa's return to music, it is much welcomed and very enjoyable. So fellow fans and music lovers, dig in and enjoy, all in all, the album is a solid hit."
Vanessa's Latin Jazz
Dr. Feel | GA United States | 06/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Vanessa Williams returns with her first (non-Christmas) CD of mostly original recordings since her 1997 "Next" album. Produced by Babyface, Rex Rideout, Keith Thomas and Rob Mathes (her guitar player), this album is different from previous offerings in that this time around, VW ventures into Latin rhythms and jazz with a "Big Band" influence.
That's not a bad thing at all, since VW definitely has the voice and the talent for this type of music, and since most of her earlier albums contained at least one Brazilian-style or jazzy song on it (e.g. "Betcha Never"), this just seems to be consistent with her style these days. No, this is not "The Right Stuff" or "The Comfort Zone", this is "The Real Thing" so some fans may have a hard time diggin' this music. VW is now a mature, successful and accomplished singer & actress, so there's no need to make dance music sampling "New Jack" beats and Keith Sweat songs as was the case in 1988 when she had to compete with Janet Jackson, Vesta, Angela Winbush, Shanice Wilson and others to obtain a hit. To VW, these songs are more personal and emotional, not what's commercially expedient. Not to say that VW has abandoned R&B/dance music completely, it seems that's just not where she's focused at this point in her musical career.
This music is great for jazz-standard fans. Vanessa's voice sounds great, the band is tight and the music is soothing. But the downside is that some of the songs towards the end of the album are just not that interesting. These are not songs that you will be humming in your head all day long. This isn't a fantastic CD, but it's not a throw-away either. It's just a little different. If you're a die-hard VW fan like me, and if you like Latin-jazz, you'll enjoy most of these songs.
Best tracks are:
Breathless (reminiscent of VW's signature R&B sound)
Hello Like Before (a light tango and a Bill Withers cover/composition)
Loving You (a Big-Band-Billie-Holiday-ish tune co-written by Babyface)
Just Friends (very nice mid-tempo song written by Babyface)
The Real Thing (a salsa w/ Latin-flavored horns, written by Stevie Wonder)
Lazy Afternoon (a jazz standard, although I prefer Patti Austin's version)
Close To You (very nice w/ a breezy acoustic guitar and violins)
Enjoy "The Real Thing"!"