DUETS II is the follow-up to Tony Bennett's multi-platinum CD, DUETS, which was released in conjunction with Tony's 80th birthday in 2006. DUETS won three Grammy Awards and was the singer's best selling album to date. Now the legendary performer celebrates a milestone 85th birthday with the release of DUETS II. The singer has completed recording with Lady Gaga and Aretha Franklin, adding to a celebrated list of artists previously announced including Amy Winehouse, Michael Buble, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Queen Latifah, Carrie Underwood and many others. Lady Gaga joined Tony for a rendition of the Richard Rodgers song, "The Lady Is A Tramp" and Bennett and Franklin collaborated on the Alan and Marilyn Bergman classic, "How Do You Keep The Music Playing." Phil Ramone produced the original DUETS as well as DUETS II.
KRALL DIANA THE LOOK OF LOVE The Look of Love doesn't tamper with Diana Krall's ongoing success, continuing the emphasis on romantic ballads and embracing them with lush string arrangements. At the core, of course, is Krall's voice. She's developing into one of the great torch singers, with an approach that's both direct and subtly nuanced, true to the song and yet deeply personal. There's a combination of restraint and drama here, as Krall ranges from the confident to the wistful, from loss to playful insinuation, as each song requires. "Cry Me a River" is bittersweet triumph, while "Love Letters" and "Maybe You'll Be There" maintain the most tenuous emotional hold, at once fragile and resilient. "Besame Mucho" and "Dancing in the Dark" are sultry romances wafted on light Latin beats. The songs develop their intimacy in the setting of Krall's quartet, which usually includes bassist Christian McBride and drummer Peter Erskine and several fine guitarists, most frequently Russell Malone. They're a superb complement to her voice and piano, and the close communication carries through the depth and sheen added by Claus Ogerman's rich orchestrations. --Stuart Broomer
Brand: Warner Bros
The soundtrack to the most anticipated film of the holiday season features two new songs from Enya, one of the most successful female artists in history (having sold nearly 40 million albums worldwide) and a score by Howard Shore (The Silence Of The Lambs, Ed Wood). "The Fellowship Of The Ring," the first in a trilogy of fantasy epics based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings series, is expected to be a blockbuster - and its soundtrack album popular far beyond Middle Earth. Certified Gold by the RIAA. (1/02) Score composer Howard Shore has informed this first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy with his distinctly modern sensibilities. Revolving loosely around a brief, heroic brass theme, this epic is infused with a powerful rhythmic thrust and a musical range that encompasses centuries (from the Renaissance pastoralism of "Concerning Hobbits" to the fiery, Prokofiev-influenced drama of "A Knife in the Dark"). Key to the score's sense of mystery and magical place are the rich choral passages that are interspersed throughout, some so ominously gothic they make The Phantom Menace's "Duel of the Fates" sound almost sunny by comparison. Enya's contributions ("The Council of Elrond" and the song "May It Be") add a sense of organic tranquility, but it's Shore's Wagnerian-scaled orchestral score that should long be cherished by admirers of film music and hobbits alike. --Jerry McCulley
Brand: Somerset Entertainment
Originally formed a dozen years ago while students together at Indiana University, the a cappella group has reassembled and reemerged after their video for 'The 12 Days of Christmas' became a phenomenon with almost 8 million views on YouTube. In an era when so much pop music is the product of digital processing and vocal pro-tooling, Straight No Chaser is the real deal- the captivating sound of ten unadulterated human voices coming together to make extraordinary music that is moving people in a fundamental sense...and with a sense of humor.
Into Broadway's creative vacuum of revivals, movie adaptations, and Hollywood star vehicles comes Rent, the story of squatters, junkies, performance artists, struggling musicians, drag queens, aspiring filmmakers, and HIV-positives (and you thought Miss Saigon's helicopter landing was cool). Undoubtedly among the defining pop cultural events of 1996, Rent has already won four Tony awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. More importantly, it threatens to bring substance back to the Great White Way. Transposing Puccini's 100-year-old opera La BohÃ¨me into modern day Bohemia (19th-century Paris's Left Bank becomes late-20th-century New York's East Village where the scourge of tuberculosis becomes the plague of AIDS) Rent celebrates life among the young, sick, and unconventional. While Broadway shows are hardly the place for authentic portrayals of the latest marginalized hipsters, composer Jonathan Larson (who died at age 36, days before his musical opened) managed to sculpt vivid characters and scenes that bring Avenue A as close as it will ever come to 42nd Street. And by telling a socially relevant story of living without the guarantee of a future (renting, that is), Larson does his own little bit to define an X'ed generation. At worst, Rent is the Hair of the '90s. For the majority of us who won't be seeing Rent anytime soon, the Original Cast Recording is more than just an after-show souvenir. Well-packaged with a complete libretto, the two-CD set is a worthwhile album separate of live performance. Full of songs that are funny and catchy, inspiring and touching, smart and hip and not overly sentimental, Rent mixes show tune pop with elements of rock, R&B, dance, gospel, and tango to make one of the best albums of the year--certainly the best rock opera in decades. Into Broadway's creative vacuum of revivals, movie adaptations, and Hollywood star vehicles comes Rent, the story of squatters, junkies, performance artists, struggling musicians, drag queens, aspiring filmmakers, and HIV-positives (and you thought M...
The 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and nine 2011 Tony AwardsÂ® say it's the Best Musical of the Year. Vogue says, "It's the funniest musical of all time." And The New York Times says, "It's the best musical of this century." It's THE BOOK OF MORMON, the Broadway musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q co-creator Robert Lopez. The Daily Show's Jon Stewart calls it "A crowning achievement. So good, it makes me angry."
GENTLY USED MUCH CLOSER TO NEW CONDITION THAN USED CONDITION - MUCH LESS THAN NORMAL WEAR! ALL ORDERS SHIP SAME DAY! The girl who just wanted to have fun has matured into a sensitive interpreter of eclectic standards. Taking a cue from Rod Stewart Cyndi Lauper applies her formidable pipes to an eclectic collection of covers that range from a few Edith Piaf tunes ("La Vie En Rose" and "Hymn to Love") to classics from the songbooks of Bacharach/David, Etta James, and Smokey Robinson. Although there are some upbeat tracks such as the remarkably authentic Specials-styled ska of a radically reworked "Sunny Side of the Street," a rather forced but fun duet with Tony Bennett on "Makinâ€™ Whoopee," and the cha-cha, Ricky Ricardo-ized version of Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs' "Stay," the album predominantly floats in a sober, pensive mood. Piano and subtle orchestrations add tension to sensitive readings of "Unchained Melody," "Donâ€™t Let Me Be Misunderstood," and an eerily somber "Walk on By." The effect is haunting and intimate as Lauper unleashes her inner Tori Amos. Shifting "Youâ€™ve Really Got a Hold on Me" into an aching ballad, the singer shows her remarkable vocal range and interpretive ability. Lauper's voice sparkles throughout, especially without the overproduction that has marred some of her previous efforts. As its title infers, At Last finally shows her true colors. --Hal Horowitz
The Sound of Music (35th Anniversary Collector's Edition)
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
This double-disc celebration of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein movie musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer will get you nearly every note from the film soundtrack including extended versions of favorite songs, orchestral tracks and even an interview with Richard Rodgers.
Meryl Streep leads an all-star cast in the feature-film adaptation of the beloved musical that has been seen by more than 30 million people in 160 cities and 8 languages around the world. Bringing the timeless lyrics and melodies of iconic super group ABBA to movie audiences, Summer 2008 is the season for MAMMA MIA! Produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, MAMMA MIA s all-star cast which, in addition to Meryl Streep, includes Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper. (Universal Pictures)An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, Donna (Streep) is about to let go of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), the spirited daughter she s raised alone. For Sophie s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends practical and no-nonsense Rosie (Julie Walters) and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya (Christine Baranski) from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own. On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities. Songs include: I Have A Dream, Honey, Honey, Money, Money, Money, Thank You For The Music,Mamma Mia!, Chiquita, Dancing Queen,Lay All Your Love On Me, Super Trouper,The Name of The Game, Voulez-Vous,S.O.S., Knowing Me, Knowing You,Our Last Summer, The Winner Takes It All, Take A Chance on Me, I Do, I Do, I Do and Waterloo.