Manufacturer: Blix Street
Brand: Autumn Leaves
Five years after her death at age 33, Eva Cassidy is an international star. Songbird, a platinum-selling smash, reached #1 in England, Ireland, and the U.S. A recent Nightline profile about Eva generated more emails than almost any other program in its history. When you hear this album, you'll know why the Washington Post raved that "she could sing anything...and make it sound like it was the only music that mattered." (43 minutes) Songbird cherry-picks tracks from the three locally released albums of Eva Cassidy, whose hauntingly beautiful vocals went virtually unheard outside her native Washington, D.C., during her short 33 years with us. Lost to melanoma in 1996, Cassidy sang with an unaffected purity and an astonishing ability to make both classic and contemporary songs sound like they were written just for her. Sting's "Fields of Gold" finally lives up to its title through the alchemy of Cassidy's transcendent rendition, while other tracks on this anthology showcase her ease in the realms of pop (Christine McVie's "Songbird"), soul ("People Get Ready"), gospel ("Wade on the Water"), and traditional standards ("Autumn Leaves" and "Over the Rainbow"). Framed by understated jazz and pop arrangements, Cassidy's clear, soulful voice and exquisite phrasing make her that rarest of vocalists whose interpretations are a complement to any song. A fine introduction to a true talent. --Billy Grenier
Manufacturer: SONY MASTERWORKS
The Piano Guys are back with their new album, The Piano Guys 2, continuing their unique take on music from Pachelbel to The Turtles to Bruno Mars, featuring songs never before available on CD. The Piano Guys 2 features more of their imaginative mash-ups and arrangements including "Begin Again" (Taylor Swift's song combined with Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze"), Mission Impossible with fellow YouTube sensation, violinist Lindsey Stirling, The Lord of the Rings theme and more.
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
In celebration of his 80th birthday, Tony Bennett performs 18 of his hits and favorite numbers with famous duet partners including Sting, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Tim McGraw -- all live in the studio with the master.
Brand: SOMERSET ENTERTAINMENT
The long awaited follow up to the platinum selling The Christmas Attic, The Lost Christmas Eve features their trademark symphonic rock, which fuses elements of hard rock, Broadway, R&B, and classical music into a unique and distinctive blend of original compositions, symphony excerpts and holiday standards. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary for the season, The Lost Christmas Eve is for you. This final entry in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's rock opera trilogy is perhaps their most ambitious and complex in the series. Like its predecessors, The Lost Christmas Eve tells the story of heaven's youngest angel called back to earth to continue Jesus' unfinished work. This time he lands in New York City to help redeem not only Christmas, but the soul of humankind itself with a story line that rivals anything Frank Capra ever dreamt up for the big screen. Conceived and composed by Aerosmith and Savatage producer Paul O'Neill, most of the song were penned O'Neill, Robert Kinkle, and Savatage founder and keyboardist Jon Oliva, and features the rest of the seminal Florida metal band on the record. While not as bombastic as Savatage's fourteen rock epics which touch on topics as diverse as the Russian Revolution, the 15th century explorer Ferdinand Magellan's descendants, and Beethoven's last night, the record still has a grandiose, almost over-arching baroque feel, with its prog-rock organ swells and electronic alchemy. The best moments are during the soaring instrumentals, on tracks like the "Wisdom of Snow," "Wish Litz," "Christmas Bells, Carousels & Time," and the majestic rendering of "O Come All Ye Faithful." --Jaan Uhelszki
The Angel of Music sings 16 classical and pop favorites. A Billboard bestseller. In this follow-up to the smashing success of her 1997 CD Time to Say Goodbye, Sarah Brightman continues down the primrose crossover path, blithely gliding from covers of Hooverphonic (the title track) and Kansas ("Dust in the Wind") to Puccini and film scores (Titanic and The English Patient). Sometimes, as in "Anytime, Anywhere," the crossover happens within the same song--in this case welding a rhythm track to the somber harmonies of Albinoni's "Adagio." But there's nary a stylistic speed bump to jolt her listeners, as Brightman focuses her tiny, seraphic voice like a beam of light on each melody. The result, bless her heart, may be the invention of a whole new form of kitsch. Like plastic surgery, Brightman's years of specialized vocal training have helped refine her ability to float confidently well-rounded, sparkling tones in her upper range. These have a Dresden china-like, touching fragility in such songs as "So Many Things" and are well-suited to the gauzily romantic (and overproduced) gloss of the string-heavy arrangements that predominate. Eden also introduces Brightman as songwriter ("In Paradisum," with its mix of sitar and modal chant) and features a bonus track unavailable on the album's European-released version ("The Last Words You Said"). --Thomas May
Brand: Carpenters, The
A 2-CD set containing all their big hits, near-misses, key album tracks and even a few rarities! Like, for instance, The Rainbow Connection (the theme to The Muppet Movie ); the unreleased movie theme Leave Yesterday Behind , and their take on California Dreamin' , all of which appear here for the first time in the U.S.! Plus, of course, chart-toppers like Superstar; Rainy Days and Mondays; Top of the World; (They Long to Be) Close to You; We've Only Just Begun; Goodbye to Love; Yesterday Once More; Ticket to Ride; Sing; Hurting Each Other; For All We Know; Please, Mr. Postman , and more. 40 tracks.
The spectacular one-night only concert of David Foster and Friends, featuring Foster, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Katharine McPhee, Celine Dion, Blake Shelton, Brian McKnight and Charice, is now available on CD and DVD. Spotlighting #1 hits, award-winning songs and other favorites-all but one originally penned and/or produced by Foster-the May 23, 2008 show at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas was unforgettable. Now 'Hit Man: David Foster and Friends' scores a direct hit with music fans at home.