Melanie W. (novelwriter) from SURFSIDE BCH, SC Reviewed on 7/9/2007...
I enjoy this cd. Set The Night To Music is my favorite song on this cd. Even though, I have to admit that I have to be in a certain frame of mind to listen to it.
Pity Roberta's vocals are buried beneath the production
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Set The Night To Music" may yet be Roberta Flack's most controversial album. There are critics who think it's about half successful (eg, Rolling Stone) and some who think it's her worst showing to date (eg, Music Hound). Having ingested the album and struggled with my own assesment of it, I have to conclude that they're both half right... depending on how you're listening to it. STNTM consists of an odd mixture of classics, standards and new songs all given the heavily synthesised programmed music treatment of the 90s...and therein lies the problem. The material is mostly though not always fine. The title track by hack writer Diane Warren is formula music but gave her a Top 10 hit. Her version of "My Foolish Heart" is the one cover that truly works because the producers had the good sense to let Roberta's performance carry the song and shine through. "Friend", a lovely throwaway number, is another high point. These all too rare moments aside, Roberta's gorgeous vocals are given the soft focus treatment and buried beneath layers of sterile programmed music that sadly detracts from her performances. Had "Unforgettable" and "Summertime" been given room to breathe, they would have fulfilled their potential but sadly didn't. "You Make Me Feel Brand New", underarranged, undersung and underinterpreted, is a pointless cover. Listening to STNTM is a frustrating experience for me. I have developed a love/hate relationship with it. Mostly hate. It works when played as background music while you work but doesn't bear serious listening because it only makes you wish Roberta had sent the session musicians with their programmed music excess packing and hired a more sensitive live band to back her. What an album that might have been !"
Roberta is great!
Evonne Landwehr | Duluth, Georgia United States | 11/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this album. I just dug it out behind all my more recent CD's and fell in love all over again with Roberta Flack's heart. If you have a good friend, you will want to serenade them with her track entitled, "Friend". It ranks up there with JT's "You've Got A Friend". "Summertime" is so upbeat and fun it makes you think of watermelons and the beach in the midst of the bluest chill. "Set the Night to Music" is the perfect romance tune. This CD really has it all and I highly recommend it. I am ordering one right now to send to a dear friend. Order one for yourself and a friend!"
A decent 3 star album - a good budget bin find
Music Lover | Annapolis, MD | 11/04/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have always enjoyed Roberta Flack's voice. Her albums tend to be a little uneven. This one is enjoyable all the way through, but is a little frustrating knowing how talented she really is. The title track was a fun song to hear on the radio. It is a light pop/rock number and a duet with Maxi Priest (who actually sounds good here!). A couple of songs on the first half of the album are obvious lightrock fodder - nicely performed but not terribly exciting.
As for the remakes, she does a wonderful job on "Foolish Heart" giving it an updated Manhattan Transfer style arrangement. Her reading of "Always" is breathtaking. Please note that "Summertime" is not the old standard but a Leonard Cohen song which is also pleasant.
The only clunker is "Unforgettable." She probably should not have included it on the album with the Natalie Cole version still fresh in our ears. I think Flack's version is a duet and who ever sings with her is awful.
The ballad "Friend" is a nice, simple Flack production which she is best known for.
To me, Ms. Flack's weaknesses are a tendency to sometimes sound overly cute on certain songs (ie "I'd Like To Be Baby to You" from "Blue Lights in The Basement"). She pretty much avoids that on this album, but there are still some undercurrents of that style on some of the songs.
I wouldn't have paid full price for this, but I found it in a Used Bin for $2 and it was worth the price. Some of the songs on this album sound better mixed in with other music.
Anyway, if you spot an inexpensive copy and are curious, check it out. It is a decent listen. "
Great voice, disappointing arrangements
Mr. Wynn | State of Confusion | 04/15/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Flack has a beautiful voice. Who can argue that? That's why I was so disappointed by this colelction of songs. It would have been lovely if she had recorded them with a more traditional and orchestral arrangement. The pop synthesizer sound of the songs hear just don't work. It pains me to say that.Roberta Flack is a wonderful chanteuse. I gave this 3 stars which is generous. Her voice is the only thing that may redeem this album."