Pros: Classic songs remade with respect to the originals. Fantastic!
The Bottom Line: You must try this album; classic songs sung in a classic way... it's just fantastic. No matter your mood, this will put a smile on your face.
The cover of the CD Standing in the Shadows of Motown displays the exact way I feel when I listen to it. The sounds coming through my speakers dont seem to be coming from my speakers at all I feel like I am in a casual performance, sitting at a cozy table with my friends right in front of the stage, and these performers are singing right at me. This CD is filled with familiar songs that conjure up different memories for everyone. It is a must for many, many people.
Heat Wave- Joan Osborne. What a strong voice Joan displays in this song. Of course she sounds a bit different from the original, but she makes this song her own. Lots of people arent fond of remakes, but you can tell that Joan Osborne sings this song with respect. A great intro song!
Youve Really Got A Hold On Me- MeShell Ndegeocello. This song was originally sort of laid back, but MeShell Ndegeocello, with the help of the instrumentalists takes it a step farther. This version is very laid back, almost dragging, but seems to be held up by the driving piano beat. Her voice is also very smooth and emotional. Very nice song.
Do You Live Me- Bootsy Collins. This guys voice doesnt sound at all like the original, but he does a great job of playing up the humor aspect of this song. I really like this version.
Bernadette- Funk Brothers. I love this! This song is instrumental, and begins with a simple sounding bass line, which gradually builds, and is soon joined by a simple tambourine. After awhile, more instruments join in, and the tension continues to build. I really like this song; the bass feature is really different and demands your attention.
Reach Out Ill Be There- Gerald Levert. This classic song is really well done by Gerald Levert. Again, the bass (at times) is thumping and really sets a great mood. This song sounds very similar to the original, which will appeal to many people.
Aint Too Proud To Beg- Ben Harper. I havent heard much Ben Harper before, but this is a great sample, and if its any indication of his other music, I will definitely be listening to other selections of his. He has a very strong voice in this piece, and boy, he aint too proud to beg!
Shotgun- Gerald Lever, Tom Scott. This song just begs me to dance and it sure is hard for me to resist. Its tempo isnt too fast, but its upbeat, and the saxophone solo in the middle is killer though I may be partial (I play some jazz sax). The song is pretty simple, but its a definite danceable song.
What Becomes Of The Broken hearted- Joan Osborne. Ah, this sounds more like the Joan Ive heard before. Her voice sounds a bit rough, but in a gentle way. I can tell she really feels this song when she sings it, and youll be able to tell when you listen to it also. This is one of my favorite songs on this album. Its beautiful anyway, and Joan really does do it justice.
I Heard It Through The Grapevine- Ben Harper. Yep, Ill be checking out more of Ben Harpers music. His voice is, again, very strong without being overpowering. Im not a fan of this song really, but Ben does a good job of making me want to like it more. And I do J
If You Keep Me Hanging On- The Funk Brothers. Okay, you have to love the intro to this song Its very tense and building, and although it says right on the back of the CD that its instrumental, I keep expecting to hear those wailing voices, and though they never come, Im not disappointed at all.
Cool Jerk- Bootsy Collins. Cool Jerk? What a funny title. And Im starting to really like Bootsy Collins voice I can just picture him singing these songs, and I know he had so much fun recording them. You can hear it in his voice, which is truly amazing in itself. Im not a huge fan of the original, but this is a great song.
Cloud Nine- MeShell Ndegeocello. What a cool intro! The drums sound really great with the quiet guitar. I start grooving to this song before the vocals even begin, but when they do wow. Im not sure why Ive never heard of MeShell Ndegeocello before. This song seems a little longer than I like it but hey, its not too bad. Theres a bit of repetitiveness as well.
Whats Going On- Chaka Khan. How beautiful. Another powerful voice present on this CD why am I not surprised? I really like the strings that are softly featured in this song. Also Chaka Khan has a very fantastic scatting voice, and scatting usually annoys me. Thats saying a lot.
Aint No Mountain High Enough- Chaka Khan, Montell Jordan. Wow. All right, I really got kind of annoyed with the 90 seconds of ladies and gentlemen, introducing This is a song I love and the more this intro went on, the more anxious I became. However wow. When these two voices came pouring out of my stereo, I was more than pleased. I would sit through the first 90 seconds anytime, though I am glad there is such a thing as a skip button. These two sound made for each other. The seem to get so emotional with this song. This is my favorite song on the album.
The Flick- Earl Van Dyke. This is an original recording, but it sounds in such good shape, I cant imagine! Again, there is an awesome saxophone solo in this song, and I love it. There are several instruments who do improvisational solos in this piece, and its really great to listen to; anyone who knows anything about music knows how hard improv can be. This is a great last song on this album; it really sums up Motown itself.
This album is just plain fantastic. I am glad to see such a recording; so many great artists contributing to an album that tributes such great music. These artists obviously have something in common their love for soul music, and boy does this album touch the soul. This CD seems so intimate; as I said before, I feel like these songs are being sung to me. I cant say enough how wonderful I think this kind of album is. Even if you are not a fan of tribute CDs or remakes, you will love this album. These songs are kept fairly true to their original format, and the artists themselves do nothing bu add to the wonderful music.
I have no complaints about Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
Great Music to Play While: Hanging With Friends
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About the reviewer
Laura Elizabeth 'Anderson' Brack (laurashrti)
I'm brand new to Lunch and looking to get settled. I write on epinions.com as laurashrti, and enjoy writing product reviews. I'm a 27-year-old library employee working … more
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STANDING IN THE SHADOWS contains new live versions of classic hits sung by today's stars and backed by Motown's house band, the Funk Brothers. Included are three original, previously unreleased tracks from Motown's vaults. STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Album For A Motion Picture Or Television. "What's Going On" (Chaka Khan) won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. Song List: Disc 1 1. Heat Wave, (Love Is Like A) - Joan Osborne 2. You've Really Got a Hold on Me - Me'Shell NdegeOcello 3. Do You Love Me - Bootsy Collins 4. Bernadette - Funk Brothers (previously unreleased, TRUE instrumental) 5. Reach Out I'll Be There - Gerald Levert 6. Ain't Too Proud to Beg - Ben Harper 7. Shotgun - Gerald Levert/Tom Scott 8. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted - Joan Osborne 9. I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Ben Harper 10. You Keep Me Hanging On - The Funk Brothers (previously unreleased, TRUE instrumental) 11. Cool Jerk - Bootsy Collins 12. Cloud Nine - Me'Shell NdegeOcello 13. What's Going On - Chaka Khan 14. Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Chaka Khan/Montell Jordan 15. Flick, The - Earl Van Dyke (previously unreleased, original Motown recording)