Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Romance is Here

Michael Feinstein is far from everyone's cup of cocoa. He is throwback to an age of romanticism, an age when singers sang in dinner jackets in front of small orchestras or sat at a grand piano and entertained us with songs that are slow paced and overflowing with melody. This collaboration with the genius of Jimmy Webb is for me Mr F's crowning achievement. His earlier albums of Gershwin in particular are good, but Jimmy L's orchestrations and arrangements are sublime.

The opening seven-minute track combines ‘After All the Loves of My Life’ with ‘Only One Lif’e; it's a tour de force. The lyrics of ‘Only One Life’ show what a master Webb is of writing simple yet clever lyrical hooks that can touch the listener. Other tracks such as ‘Skywriter’ with Webb on piano are equally good. "I'm tired of chasing vapour trails, ghost letters in the sky" - brilliant. ‘Time Flies’, ‘Adios’ and ‘Didn't We’ are all equally superb.

I've said before that Jimmy Webb is the last of the great American songwriters and this album proves it - for me anyway. This is probably not something anyone will be rushing off to buy. But if you like a bit of romance in your music, love Jimmy Webb's writing and love songs you really should risk it.

1 comment:

r morris said...

Thanks for the tip, Richard. I love Jimmy Webb (usually listen to his stuff by Glen Campbell) but I'll have to check out Mr. Feinstein.