Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Winner Is...|
Studio recordings from the Nashville Star Season 5 Winner. Includes tracks inspired by the live performances plus 5 new tracks. — 1)Love Me Wild, — 2)Strawberry Wine, — 3)You Got Me, — 4)Do Right Woman Do Right Man, — 5)I Can't... more »
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Studio recordings from the Nashville Star Season 5 Winner. Includes tracks inspired by the live performances plus 5 new tracks.
1)Love Me Wild,
3)You Got Me,
4)Do Right Woman Do Right Man,
5)I Can't Make You Love Me,
8)I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool,
9)When Will I Be Loved,
10)Hard To Handle - Featuring Zac Hacker
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Angela Hacker - Something Special!
Boetius | Riverdale, PA | 04/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Following Angela's triumphant performances on the Opry, I looked forward to her new Cd with renewed and even rabid anticipation. At last I would have a complete set of performances to substitute for and augment the bit and pieces of her music that I had managed to acquire from Itunes and elsewhere, and, moreover, one that was to be consistently and professionally produced.
I love the artwork and the generally "look." Though relatively simple, its use of browns and various shades of amber and blonde fit the ambience of our girl perfectly as does the generally rustic theme. It reminds me a little of the plain brown packaging of George Jones' multi-Cd set of hits from the 1950s released ten or so years ago. Moreover her photos, without appearing "Hollywood" or overly processed, are just lovely. Though the track listing was available before, I must confess to being a little disappointed that there were only ten songs. Missing in action were You Don't Even Know My Name, and Satin Sheets, which I had convinced myself might be made available (otherwise why would Angela promote it on the Opry?). It turns out that You Don't Even Know My Name is available, but only as a special download from Itunes, and only then if you buy the entire album from that source (a typical nasty trick by the business types in Nashville, especially as this song has been one of the most requested!!) We can only hope that Satin Sheets (my favorite performance by Angela of all time so far) might be among those chosen for the upcoming Angela/Zac album.
As expected the vast majority of songs are familiar, and most are remixed and reproduced versions of those that have been on Itunes for a while. These are comprised of: Strawberry Wine, I Can't Make You Love Me, Total Loss, I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool, and When Will I Be Loved. With only one exception, the new productions are successful, and flesh out the originals quite well. On When Will I Be Loved, for instance, harmony guitars are added making it sound more like the Linda Ronstadt version. Similarly, all have been layered to sound larger, and Angela's vocals are EQed to be rounder and warmer. The one exception is Total Loss. John Bohlinger's slide work is superseded by those of Steve Fishell, who has an excellent tone, but takes a simpler approach that in my judgment is less effective than John's denser and dirtier interpretation. Still, it is a very good song, and the new production does work. I just wish Warner's would pick it up and promote it as a single; it is far better than most everything else out there right now.
Two of the other songs, Love Me Wild, and You Got Me, are Angela originals and were scheduled for her independent Cd that she was to release if she didn't win Star. Her first efforts at recording them were available for a while on her myspace site (and were downloaded by larcenous if clever fans). The new productions succeed in transforming songs that were good and had potential into something exceptional. Wild is classic radio fodder, a good opener with a great hook propelled by the fairly standard theme of love as sex; You Got Me, however, is much more profound and features Angela offering her love to a man as an antidote to the pain of a broken relationship. She sounds sincere and loving. Last among those tunes with which we have already become familiar is Hard to Handle, appearing first on the last episode of Star and featuring Zac and Angela in a greasy Southern rock duet - very Stax! If you saw it you know it was and is excellent; a good time for all! The two work very well together and those years of local gigs have paid off in their emotional and wild performance here.
This leaves the two "new songs," an original, Emotionless, and Do Right Woman, Do Right Man, recorded first by Aretha Franklin. The first is powerful and like so much of Angela's work expresses impatience at unnecessary (unnecessary that is to women :-)) barriers to love. How can it be, she complains, that intimacy has inspired no emotion at all on the part of her recent lover (is there a woman alive that has not asked that question?)? It is a question, however, that would not even occur to most men (because we are all pigs of course lol). This is another song that could sound well on GAC and CMT, listenable and commercial. The hidden gem on the Cd, however, is Do Right Woman, which is probably why she chose to give it a special mention during her Opry interview. A classic soul ballad, Angela sings it effortlessly, and it gives us some insight into one of the directions we can expect her career to take.
Regardless of the songs, whether fast, slow, superficial, or soulful, the common denominator is Angela Hacker and her immense talent at interpretation. She is such a skillful singer, gifted with such excellent tone, technique, and phasing that she is able to take any song and make it her own, including, we expect, even Mary had a Little Lamb. This is the Cd's strongest aspect; it has good songs, one or two that are great, to be sure, but it is Angela and her at once unique and familiar vocals that drive the performances. In each tune there is at least one moment of brilliance on her part, a turn of phrase, a note being held etc., that collectively transform what might have been a raggedy collection into a strong album, one that would be a source of pride for most country artists. We have known from the first performance of the first Star (and some knew before then) that Angela had the potential to be something very special, and now here we have the first indication of the fulfillment of that promise. Just imagine what she and Zac are going to be able to do with time, a budget, and major label support? In this context, it is just possible that The Winner is . . . could assume legendary status as the genesis of a legend.
Arlene H. Henion | 04/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a really great CD. I loved this season's Nashville Star and have found that over the last few years, the QUALITY of performances have increased to such a point that any one of the finalists would make a great Nashville Star. This year was especially GREAT with the first brother/sister matchup and I was thrilled to see them both make the final two. That is what makes their duet "Too Tough to Handle" so great to be on this CD. Angela you go girl....you are rocking "OLD SCHOOL" country with your "OWN" sound somewhere between Marbara Mandrell and Patsy Cline."
The winner is....
Brenda L. Fizz | Royersford PA | 07/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"wow two years in a row on Nashville Star that I picked the winner and purchased the cd. Both were well worth buying. Angela's voice is a mix between Tammy Wynette and Lorretta Lynn. She has a very raspy yet very country voice. When I first heard her sing on Nashville Star, I knew she was going to be the winner! This cd is very good and well worth it."