Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Aaliyah: I Care 4 U

Aaliyah, I Care 4 U on Amazon

Out of production, issued in 2003, with bonus DVD included in the initial pressings.

Rhythmic, sultry, relaxed, spirited, introspective, stellar—those words and more describe the outstanding performances on this retrospective of the late Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in August 2001, at the age of 22. I'd describe the music's general style as contemporary R&B that she sings with such confidence and musical maturity – yet with a sense of innocence, too – this CD makes me wonder how much further Aaliyah would have progressed artistically by now, let alone a couple of decades from now. To enhance anyone's listening pleasure, audio on the Blackground Records CD hardly could be better. If you're remotely into any of the musical genres this CD represents, or if the track titles intrigue you, you need I Care 4 U in your collection!


1. Back & Forth
2. Are You That Somebody
3. One in a Million
4. I Care 4 U
5. More Than a Woman
6. Don't Know What to Tell Ya
7. Try Again
8. All I Need
9. Miss You
10. Don't Worry
11. Come Over
12. Erica Kane
13. At Your Best (You Are Love) – Isley Brothers classic
14. Got to Give It Up

my amazon review: I Care 4 "I Care 4 U"

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

soul picnic

Soul Picnic CD on Amazon

soul picnic front

Would you believe I bought another CD majorly on sale? And it's another major winner! ... btw, this is news since it's been a few years since I've routinely brought new CDs into my living space. Playlist includes tracks with fun, casual titles:


1. Down to It
2. Soul Picnic
3. Made in the Shade
4. Some Like It Hot
5. Wanna Be There
6. Barbeque
7. Cool 'N Easy
8. Sweet Love
soul picnic back

"Made in the Shade," "Wanna Be There," and "Sweet Love" all are so very joyful and forever listenable! The music and performances are way far too smooth to describe as funky, but the contained energy and clear recorded sound makes up for that and besides, who says all the music on Soul Picnic needs to be funky even when that's my mood? Highly recommend!

My Amazon review: forever listenable

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

7 sacred songs

Some of my favorite Contemporary Christian piano repertoire:

• Lord, I Lift Your Name On High // Rick Founds

• We Bow Down // Twila Paris

• Thy Word Psalm is a lamp unto my feet ... Psalm 119:105 // Amy Grant and Michael W Smith

• Lamb of God // Twila Paris

• Lord, Be Glorified // Bob Kilpatrick

• Glorify Thy Name // Donna Adkins

• He Is Exalted // Twila Paris

Song of the Mississippi

Song of the Mississippi by "various artists" on Amazon.

song of the mississippi cd coverI chose this CD (because it was on sale) and because the title included "Mississippi." A song is music a river, a person, or an idea breathes and its surroundings hear; this song collection includes lovely, sometimes lively music with a classic "Americana" sound that easily helps you imagine river scenes, literature, and art along the vast range of the Mighty Mississipp, a river that carries legend, myth, individual stories and family histories along its lengthy course and upon its banks. I was born in the deep South of the USA - in many ways born a child of the river - but left before I started forming memories. However, I clearly recall my first adult encounter with the River Mississippi in front of the hotel where I was staying for a conference in St Paul, Minnesota. I walked across the street, stood beside the river, and wept at its beauty.

The Natural Encounters playlist includes a lot of "Only in America" titles:

1. As the River Runs
2. Slow Water Blues
3. Madame Rosie's Poker Parlour
4. Harmonica Hoe-Down
5. Catfish Tales
6. River Fiddlin'
7. Sweet Prospect
8. Reverend White's Get Right Revival
9. Mighty Like a Rose
10. Piano Jive
11. Riverboat Rag
12. Mississippi Moon
13. Jaw Harp Jam
14. Snag Boat Blues
15. As the River Runs (Reprise)

The sound is open and clear, with enough presence to fill the room. This is the kind of music you can leave playing in the background or stop a while for some careful listening. There are several additional CDs in the Natural Encounters series that I hope to find at an affordable price, trusting they'll be as listenable and re-listenable as "Song of the Mississippi."

my Amazon review: Song of the Mississippi

Monday, February 13, 2012

CD: Pop Rock Christmas

Pop Rock Christmas CD on Amazon.

pop rock christmas cover

These days I buy very few CDs and even have given away quite a few, but I got this CD after Christmas for a great price and I'm glad I did. "The First Noel" alone is worth far more than the price I paid and well worthy of many, many listenings; "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing" isn't far behind. In 1998 Tom Wanca produced and arranged as well as playing keyboards and organ and singing background vocals for Sheer Panic. With a touch of rock and more than a hint of classic country, the designation "Pop Rock" fits well as the arrangements basically rock the rhythm and skew the harmonizations most people are used to.

pop rock christmas liner

Liner notes provide performance and production details and in the interest of accommodating anyone who may have turned off browser images and/or are relying on an app to read the screen to them, here's the playlist that you can see contains non-exotic secular and more sacred songs for Christmas:
pop rock christmas back
1. Angels We Have Heard On High
2. Up On The Housetop
3. Over The River And Through The Woods
4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
5. The First Noel
6. I Saw Three Ships

7. Jolly Old St. Nicholas / Jingle Bells
8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
9. Silent Night! Holy Night!
10. What Child Is This?

my amazon review: country, rock, and pop for Christmas