Sounds Better On Paper Than On CD
Alan Dorfman | DELRAY BEACH, FL United States | 05/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I stumbled upon Chantal Kreviazuk in a small record store in Montreal while on a business trip in 1997, attracted by the inherent ethnic contradiction of her first and last names. On a whim I purchased the CD and became a fan, also buying her subsequent follow-ups. Then she disappeared, not unusual for artists that don't burn up the charts and set cashier registers a beeping.
Last year when I saw that she had a new Canadian CD I assumed that she didn't have an American distribution deal and ordered the new CD from Amazon. But lo and behold here we are half a year later and it's getting an overdue stateside release - with bonus tracks to boot.
If you are unfamiliar with Chantal I would recommend reading the editor's notes above which tell you more about her as a performer and a person and a professional than I can. The notes will also tell you the interesting back story of this home-made (in the truest sense of the word) CD.
My job here is to offer my opinion, as a long time fan, of the success or failure of this (not so quite) new offering from this Canadian chanteuse. And that judgment is that this is just a so-so CD. The songwriting doesn't stand out - it's as if she sold out the good ones to other artists and kept the vulnerable whiny ones for herself. There is nothing musically or lyrically distinctive enough to stand out. The thematic contradiction of the counterpoint of "Grow Up So Fast" and "Wonderful" would be interesting if the subject matter hadn't been beaten to death elsewhere over the decades.
"All I Can Do" is a pro forma love song that sounds like the only shot at radio success, but I'm guessing it'll take a cover version to chart. "Speak In Tongues" ("You can never erase what you've become/I know where you're from and that you speak in tongues") gets my vote for best in show with it's brilliant arrangement and clever lyric, but I'm not sure I even understand the title song "Ghosts Of You" which posits the presence of the ghosts while the lover is still there and is "the only one that will stay the same."
Chantal's voice is too often as vulnerable as birdsong and just wore me down. She's much more effective on the songs where she projects more power such as the bonus track "Time." Though the editor above touts the quality of "Asylum," it did nothing for me. "Mad About You" was sweet but insubstantial.
Most Chantal fans will doubtless appreciate this CD to the extent the editor for Amazon did but, for me, it was a disappointment. Perhaps listening to it after the phenomenal new Joan Armatrading was my mistake, but even back when I got the Canadian import CD I wasn't particularly impressed."
Haunting, but not pleasing
Karl G | Singapore | 06/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chantal Kreviazuk has produced many good songs in the past, some of which are "Time", "In This Life", "These Days" and "Feels Like Home". Her voice is very pure and breathtaking, which allows her to be free spirited and emotional on the tracks mentioned above.
For her previous three albums, she has taken on a more lighthearted approach to the topics she was writing about, like life, destiny and wasting of time. But in this album, she grows darker, and that darkness becomes somewhat her downfall.
"All I Can Do", "Ghost Stories", "Waiting for the Sun" and "Wonderful" are clear standout tracks in this album, with "Spoke In Tongues" making a good lasting impression as well. The US bonus tracks "Time" and "I Do Believe" add on to the good repertoire, with "Time" returning for another show. "I Do Believe" is more like her, albeit a bit darker.
However the rest are painfully hard to listen to, especially Wendy House and You Blame Yourself, where she hits sounds that she has not touched in the past.
What If It All Means Something, her 3rd album, remains her best, and though this album has some gems inside, they are still not enough to make her album as outstanding as it could have been."