Kevin Bryan's Record Reviews

The latest reviews from Kevin Bryan.

Mary Chapin Carpenter,"Songs From The Movie" (Decca/Rounder Records)- Carpenter's latest recording project finds the singer-songwriter in typically fine fettle as she revisits some choice extracts from her richly rewarding back catalogue in tandem with  Grammy Award winning orchestral arranger Vince Mendoza. The finished product reflects Mary's love of the cinematic sweep of classic film and symphonic music as  a 63 piece orchestra and 15 voice choir underpin  spellbinding creations such as  "Ideas Are Like Stars," "Come On Come On." and "The Dreaming Road."

                        Eddie & The Hot Rods, " 2 Sides" (Wienerworld WNRCD 5073)- This refreshingly robust offering  brings together the  best moments from  the rejuvenated pub-rockers' recent albums alongside live versions of classic crowd-pleasers such as "Teenage Depression," "Quit This Town" and the anthemic "Do You Wanna Do." The hitherto unreleased  section of the CD also showcases some  of the energised  cover versions which have always been such a compelling  component of The Hot Rods' stage act,led by Sam The Sham's "Wooly Bully," Them's "Gloria" and The Who's "The Kids Are Alright."

                        "Sonja Kristina" (Angel Air SJPCD412)-Sonja Kristina  is best remembered these days for her exploits with early seventies prog rockers Curved Air, but her subsequent solo recordings seem to have slipped by virtually unnoticed,and this  1980 album has become quite a rarity in vinyl form. The  contents were recorded  by Sonja and her band Escape with producer Nigel Gray,who also oversaw the first three Police albums , and feature a vibrant cover of Spirit's "Mr.Skin" alongside a generous helping of  mildly quirky melodic rock.

                         Ronnie Milsap," Summer Number Seventeen" (Sony Music)- Veteran country music icon Ronnie Milsap may have released his first single half a century ago  but the North Carolina born balladeer's  creative output  has  never really made too much of an impact on British audiences in the interim,a puzzling state of affairs  which this easy on the ear exercise in nostalgia is unlikely to rectify. "Summer Number Seventeen" finds Milsap serving up his slickly assembled  versions of the popular ditties  which influenced him during his formative years, including  such unlikely bedfellows as Bobby Darin's "Mack The Knife,"  Hank Williams'" I Can't Help It" and The Stylistics' "You Make Me Feel Brand New."
 
                            Rolando Villazon,"Mozart : Concert Arias" (D.G.479 1054)-Villazon tackles a selection of Mozart's  "Concert Arias" in this  splendid new collaboration with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra. These rarely performed works have formed a significant portion  of the charismatic  Mexican tenor's live show for the past few years,and the release of  this  Deutsche Grammophon CD will  allow him to expose  their diverse delights to the attention of a  much wider audience.

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