"Nana Mouskouri is my benchmark against which I measure other contemporary singers. Her voice is lower than soprano (perhaps "mezzo-soprano): it's clear, rich, resonant and bright. Her tone is "breathy." I believe this feature gives her an "intimate" quality, but hey, I'm just a guy. On Falling In Love Again, Mouskouri covers fifteen movie songs from the past four decades: this is a "real" album and not a compilation of previous material. The CD features the elegant Michel Legrand Orchestra with a chorus that sounds like 100 singers. Set in the middle of a full orchestra and massive choir, some soloists might get buried (or worse - compete against the awesome sound), but not Mouskouri. Her intensity, her ability to project over the orchestra, is exceptional. Although Legrand's arrangements are grandiose, Mouskouri dominates center stage and is clearly the focal-point of the album. Again, it's her voice. Without "flaming" other popular female singers, everything Mouskouri does, she does right. Listen to the way she effortlessly shifts from one tone quality to another without "belting" or breaking into a falsetto (Autumn Leaves, How Do You Keep The Music Playing). `My Own True Love' and `Beauty And The Beast' are impressive examples of her flexibility and agility (I'd use the term "bel canto," but it might frighten away all but opera fans).On an emotional level, the compositions are "love" songs from "mushy" movies. `You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings' is a poignant song for anyone who has ever worshiped an older brother or sister. The dynamics of `My Own True Love' radiate with Mouskouri's confidence. `The Windmills Of Your Mind' is haunting and majestic. Without the slightest hint of a temperamental "prima donna," the voice of Nana Mouskouri is simply "The Voice." Don't let "The Lady With The Glasses" escape you.Technical Note: Why PolyGram Records does not use the SPARS code "DDD" is beyond me. The booklet mentions "digitally recorded and mixed," and I suspect this is a true DDD recording. Mouskouri's voice is usually close-miked, and quite capable of over-saturating analog equipment. It doesn't happen here (My Own True Love, Beauty And The Beast). The CD is an outstanding source for demonstrating high-end audio equipment. Mouskouri's "bell clear" voice "rings" (resonating at 2,500-3,000 Hz), and the dynamic range of tracks such as `Somewhere Over The Rainbow' is enormous."
dev1 | 04/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An extremely well chosen collection of songs sung by a fabulous voice.What a voice! Nana's angelic voice is so soothing that if you put this wonderful CD on at the end of a tiring day you'll just forget every bad incident that took place ealier. It just sweeps you to the limits of relaxation."
Lola Lola Flies Over The Rainbow!
Gregor von Kallahann | 10/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I remember going to a Nana Mouskouri with my ex when we were both students in Germany. It seemed like a kind of fun, campy thing to do. And actually, it was just that--fun, a little campy--if not downright kitschy. Nana, of course, is one of those international pop stars who record in every conceivable language (except, maybe, Icelandic and Mandarin). To her credit, she's one of the few who has actually made a dent in the U.S. market, and she has done more for eyewear fashion than anyone this side of Sally Jessy Raphael.But is she any good? Well, yes, she is a very talented pop singer. For a non-native speaker, she actually interprets idiomatic English-language material pretty well. But there are limits to that talent, as more than a couple of the songs here demonstrate. The most awkward moments are the two duets with Harry Belafonte. Belafonte, completely at home with the language, adopts an almost conversational style well-suited to his husky voice. Mouskouri, by comparison, sounds stiff and sticks to singing "pretty" rather interpreting the lyric. It is, quite simply, the difference between a singer working in his native language versus one who's struggling in another.When she tackles "The Summer Knows," she does fairly well, but for me the definitive version of that song will always be the one by the late, lamented Nancy LaMott. LaMott, who combined this song with "Summer Me Winter Me," was expert at getting behind the lyric. As a superb cabaret artist, that was her forte. Mouskouri tries valiantly, hits all the notes, but she cannot inject it with the wit and life-wisdom that LaMott does so effortlessly. Of course, if they were singing some idiomatic Greek chanson, Nana would trump Nancy--no nagging doubt.It's also fair to say that a tongue twister like "The Windows of Your Mind" almost completely eludes her. But the only glaring linguistic gaffe occurs in "As Time Goes By." Instead of the correct (and sensible) lines, "Woman needs man/and man must have his mate," Nana warbles something that sounds like , "Woman nids man/ and man just have his mate," which someone in the recording studio should have caught and declared that it made NO SENSE WHATSOVER! But the CD was produced by Nana herself and someone named Andre Chapelle, so I'm guessing that there was no one on hand with a complete mastery of the Queen's English (or Humphrey Bogart's for that matter).A project albm like this(the subtitle is "Great Songs from the Movies") allows a recording artist an opportunity to record material closely associated with other artists with some impunity. Some might argue that she borrows too much of Bette Midler's phrasing on "Wing Beneath My Wings"--although what she actually borrows are the textual embroiderings Midler threw in that weren't actually part of the original lyrics. And there will be those who will insist that no other singer should even attempt "Over the Rainbow," "Falling In Love Again," or even "The Way We Were" lest they be guilty of sacrilege. But, hey, if it's all part of an overall "tribute to the movies"... Actually, Mouskouri does reasonable justice to all three. She doesn't try to imitate any of the original singers in any way, and while she won't make anyone forget Garland or Dietrich, I'm sure there are those who will prefer her more understated version of "The Way We Were" to Streisand's socco-boffo interpretation. Me, I never cared that much for the song one way or the other. But the capper is with the capper. That is to say, the last track, "High Noon," is just grand. If "Mousaka Westerns" ever become a viable genre, Nana Mouskouri should be on EVERY soundtrack. Seriously. This is fun. And good of kind! I feel less guiltily pleasured when I listen to Nana in a foreign language (sort of the way that I find I CAN listen to Celine Dion in French), but everyone should own at least one Nana Mouskouri record--and if you want her in English, this one may be ideal."
Deborah L. Battraw | 07/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought that the CD of love songs by Nana Mouskouri was really good to listen to. It had upbeat songs."