2013 Grammy WINNER:
- Best Pop Instrumental Album
Alrighty, last one we listened to in this category got very repetitive, no matter how lovely the Spanish sound had been. This time, however, we have the winner of the category and one with an incredible line-up of guest artists. From Opera to Country, we've got a ton covered here. Okay, my faith and excitement is restored.
Plus, he sort of looks like NPH, and you can't go wrong there.
"Prelude No. 20 in C Minor" is up first. Okay, granted, if it's instrumental a classical piece pretty much is a given. Though, for pop instrumental it's a little out of place. If you couldn't tell from the cover, he seems to be a trumpet player, and that of course winds up being the prominent instrument here. A little surprising, actually, for an instrumental album. You don't hear this take center stage very often, if at all.
Andrea Bocelli is first up in guest artists. He joins Chris here for "Per Te (For You)." He doesn't start singing for quite some time, which, I mean, is okay. It is supposed to be an Instrumental CD after all. When he does come in, it's lovely, and completely in place. His voice becomes another instrument, not merely a way to add words.
"En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor" keeps the same mood, and does not vary up the sound much at all. Things are still incredibly solemn and slow, led by a trumpet that seems to be crying or at least singing all on its own. I have yet to have the opportunity to share a live performance with y'all of this guy, and though this isn't the quality I'd prefer, here's something! It becomes slightly epic as the orchestra comes in. Whew.
"Losing You" includes a man who was very generous to my college, Mr. Vince Gill. He doesn't take as long as our last singer to join in, making this a pretty easily accessible song. It's a sadder song, for sure. So far, a slow album.
Ooh. Herbie Hancock joins in for "Tango Suite." Now, I have to admit… not hearing very much in the way of Tango themes. I'm hoping that it's really just a lack of training in the area for me personally, and not some odd mis-titlng. Okay, okay, there's a little something there when the music swells that gives it a better feel. And when Herbie takes to the piano all on his own (as it, the entire orchestra drops out behind him), there's something just jaw-dropping happening.
"Septembro" keeps it fairly slow. Man I could use something a tad more upbeat at the moment. But there's no denying that the music is very, very good, and if I were eating at a table with candles and gorgeous Italian food, I'd probably be loving it a whole lot more.
Funny to stumble upon this one the weekend the movie comes out. Eh, bad reference. Anywhos, "Oblivion" (feat. Caroline Campbell) has much more violin throughout than heard before (if she's a violinist and I missed that fact, so sorry). They play back and forth for a while, echoing each other's long, drawn-out lines.
"Sevdah" seems to be from the desert, and more vocally based than instrumental for at least the first minute. Then his trumpet comes in on the wind and travels with the rest of the song. Okay, maybe grasping at straws here for a description, but I'm waiting for something to pop somehow. Then is goes into this vocal section that sounds like something out of an old Italian movie. Hmm, different, but nice.
Again, I'm wishing that "Summertime" will bring us a cover, this time of Will Smith, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that one. It'll probably be some lovely warm-feeling song David Foster is joining in on. That's okay. Though, the melody's not too terribly far off - even if my own mind's just forcing it to sound that way.
"Contigo En La Distancia" is still really slow and dragging. Again, lovely, but I just need something a little less… wait, is that a somewhat upbeat rhythm in the backing there? Well then, consider me pleasantly surprised and swaying to the sweet song.
It's a little odd to hear a trumpet playing the melody for "Over the Rainbow." It's not a bad thing, just a little different than expected, but I guess that's part of what makes this a different and very good album. As much as I like the different sound though, when the trumpet has to play louder for emphasis, it's just a little daunting on the ears. I guess if it were played low, that might help.
"What a Wonderful World" (feat. Mark Knopfler) finishes out the album. This is probably one of the best songs like… ever. It's just that simpleness that makes it timeless, and the message is so uplifting when it doesn't seem like the world really is, well, all that wonderful. It's relaxing and sweet. Mark brings this Leonard-Cohen-esq sound to this version, which only serves to add to the simplicity (yeah, follow that logic, ha). The trumpet that comes in (hi Chris) actually isn't as overwhelming as it was in the last song, rounding everything out really nicely.
Added to My Playlist:
- "You Are Not Alone"
- "What A Wonderful World"
Lovely time here. I mean, not a huge fan of a trumpet being in the foreground of every song, but it seems to be an acquired taste. When it's good, it's fantastic. There's just some moments that are hard to swallow as the lead sound gets so loud and a little grating. I can see the appeal though, as a Grammy winning decision.