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Jackie Wilson Said…..Movin’ On

01 Apr

I had been planning to give a review of Van Morrison’s new compilation, The Movie Hits, when my good friend, NOLAGirl suggested that I give a listen to Elliott Yamin’s new self-titled CD. So, I’ve decided to do both. The Elliott Yamin review is first, followed by Van the Man. Likely the ONLY time that’ll ever happen.

Elliott Yamin - Elliott Yamin

elliott-album-cover.jpg

First, let me say that Elliott’s style has never been something I liked or gravitated to, however I did like a few of his performances on American Idol, particularly A Song for You (included on this CD, as well). However, like many R&B singers he “over runs” the song with vibratos and whatever you call the running up and down the scale. I know folks will say that that’s the way R&B is supposed to be and maybe so, but it’s just not my cup o’ tea. I prefer to just hear the voice without all the gyrations of notes up and down. It’s not that hard to listen to, just not something that compels me to “power listen”, i.e., obcessively play in the house, car, and at work until I know the CD forward and backward.

There’s something about Elliott that’s bothering me. While I’m all about “making the most of what you’ve got”, his transformation from a year ago is a little eerie. A bit plastic. And these don’t even show the “Extreme Makeover” of his teeth. While he looks great, he just doesn’t look like Elliott anymore….at least to me.

normal_t24pselliottyamin1.jpgpselliottyamin9.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CD, however, does sound like Elliott. I like a few of the tracks alot, a few ok, and a few — not so much. Here are the ones that I like:

Movin’ On is the first release and I like the beat.

Find A Way Good beat with a “Stevie Wonder feel” and a bit of a protest.

Free Great “groove” song…message here?

A Song for You The Donny Hathaway anthem that Elliott, so richly did on “the show”. I love this song, in general. Elliott’s phrasing is a little rigid but, all in all, it’s good.

The other songs are similiar sounding to these and are “just aw-ite” for me. The Bonus Track of Whiter Shade of Pale is really unnecessary and awkward on this CD. A few of the songs are self-described, like Train Wreck and Alright, except that it’s not. (Think Theme from Shaft.)

Lastly, here’s Elliott’s first video and new single release, Wait for You. OK.

I think this the CD, overall, is a quality release. After all of the hand-wringing by his fans, his patience and taking time with this release pays off. I’ve not purchased an “idol” release outside of Taylor Hicks and if it not for this review, I likely wouldn’t have purchased the CD, but may have bought one or two tracks. However, he should do very well in his “genre”.

OVERALL RATING: B-

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Van Morrison – The Movie Hits

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In February, Van released 19 tracks from “The Movies”….his songs used in movies. I have to admit, seems as though I hear Van’s music everywhere, but especially in the movies. In the following track listing, you can see the numerous movies that has included a Van song. I’m sure that not all are mentioned, as the first I ever heard of Van Morrison was from the song Into the Mystic in a movie called “Immediate Family” starring James Woods, Glenn Close, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Kevin Dillon. The story is about a childless couple trying to adopt a baby from a teenage couple, but I digress. In the middle of the movie, I heard Into the Mystic and watched until the end and the credits so that I could see who it was. Then, I went out (yes, to the Mall) and purchased Moondance and my music life hasn’t been the same since.

On this CD, Into the Mystic is listed as part of the “Patch Adams” Soundtrack, but I know better (as usual). Here is the entire Track Listing and the corresponding movie that it was a part of:

  1. “Gloria” (performed by Them) (from The Outsiders)
  2. “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (performed by Them) (from Wild at Heart)
  3. “Jackie Wilson Said” (from Pope of Greenwich Village)
  4. “Domino (Live) (from Clean & Sober)
  5. “Moondance (Live) (from An American Werewolf in London) (previously unreleased version)
  6. “Queen of the Slipstream” (from Extreme Close-Up)
  7. “Wild Night” (from Thelma & Louise)
  8. “Caravan” (Live with The Band – from The Last Waltz, 1976)
  9. “Wonderful Remark” (from The King of Comedy)
  10. “Brown Eyed Girl” (from Born on the 4th of July) (previously unreleased version)
  11. “Days Like This” (from As Good as It Gets)
  12. “Into the Mystic” (Live) (from Patch Adams)
  13. “Hungry for Your Love” (from An Officer and a Gentleman)
  14. “Someone Like You” (from French Kiss)
  15. “Bright Side of the Road” (from Fever Pitch)
  16. “Have I Told You Lately” (from One Fine Day)
  17. “Real, Real Gone” (from Donovan Quick)
  18. “Irish Heartbeat” (with the Chieftains) (from The Matchmaker)
  19. “Comfortably Numb” (Live with Roger Waters, The Band & The Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir – from The Wall Concert in Berlin, 1990) (from The Departed)

Here is Caravan with The Band from “The Last Waltz”. Superb.

Probably my most favorite song on this CD is Jackie Wilson Said

Here’s a live performance, for good measure….

Fun, musical and ALL Van.

Of course, included are some of the Van “staples” that we’ve come to know and love. In addition to Gloria (G-L-O-R-I-A):

Moondance

Brown-Eyed Girl

Domino

These songs spark the memories of summer bar-b-ques, the beach, and cold “hot” nights dancing one song after another at the local watering hole when I was a younger. These are all still part of my life….so much so that one of my “babies” is named Domino. (He digs Van, as well.)

domino.jpg

In the movie, “The Matchmaker”, with Janenne Garafolo, Van’s Irish Heartbeat is featured. Great acoustical tune with Irish flutes. LURVE this tune.

Irish Heartbeat

A few other favorites…..

Days Like This

Brightside of the Road Whimisical, wonderful tune from the Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore flick, “Fever Pitch”…..nice. Great little bit of harp.

A personal favorite from “One Fine Day” with George Clooney (mmmmm…..) and Michelle Pfeiffer. I love this movie and the ending with Have I Told You Lately is perfect.

Have I Told You Lately

Lastly, to bring it full circle, here’s the YouTube and the CD live recording of Into the Mystic.

Into the Mystic

In case you haven’t guessed, I am a HUGE Van Fan. I’m biased, so sue me…..

OVERALL RATING: A+

Note: Temporary Music Files deleted.

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20 Comments

Posted by on April 1, 2007 in Reviews, van morrison

 

20 responses to “Jackie Wilson Said…..Movin’ On

  1. JazzLeavesHerNumber

    April 1, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    DoubleD, this is one double-fine blog! I’ve always enjoyed reading you on Gray and other blogs, and I’m so glad to see you up and running with your own place. Your favorites are my favorites and I love reading your commentary.

    Thanks for all the Van … how can anyone not twitch and spaz and fall headlong into that man’s music whenever you hear it?? I’d love to hear your takes on Magic time and Pay the Devil. There is some music on Magic Time that I would swear came straight out of Taylor Hicks’ head (for example, just listen to VM’s “Stranded” and TH’s “Somehow” back to back).

    BTW, since you lurve Stevi (as do I), I must share my guilty pleasure … hubby and I recently saw Lindsey Buckingham in concert at the tiny Davis Theatre in Montgomery … about 500 people at the most, wasn’t even a sellout, and it was one of the BEST — no, it was THE BEST concert I have ever had the pleasure of attending. FM’s evil genius is alive and well … and he’s still crazy (and one damn hot guitarist and singer) after all these years. How about future a review of Lindsey’s Under the Skin album? Thanks! ~Jazz

     
  2. Shelley

    April 1, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Okay…I have nothing to say about Van Morrison…’cause I’ve never been a fan (other than “Brown Eyed Girl” which, I’m sure, horrifies TRUE VM fans).

    Anyway…about Elliot. I was excited about his album release. And when the day came, I went to iTunes and gave a listen (you know…30 seconds per song). I know folks will say that’s not a way to make a fair assessment…but very rarely does it fail me.

    I was disappointed. I guess, ultimately, I’m not a fan of R&B. To my ear, there was way too much bass and synthesized vocal. The songs lack the warmth and huskiness of Yamin’s unretouched voice. I hate hate HATE whoever devised that electronic vocal device (I think the first time I heard it was in a Cher song…”Do You Believe in Life after Love?”). Anyway…it was a horrible idea.

    I like real voices…that emote real feelings.

    Anything else is a waste of my time…or simply something to play in the background while I’m scrubbing toilets.

    About Elliott’s new look…I have nothing against it. The guy was obviously uncomfortable with his smile prior to the vaneers. Okay, I think they are a little big and a little too white…but if he feels good about himself…more power to him. I think he looks nice (and I LVOE the curls…very nice).

     
  3. music maven

    April 1, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Shelley — I hear you on the Elliott look thing. It’s just a little “plastic” to me and the dude seems so down to earth that it’s unnatural. But, as you say, if he’s happier, more power to him.

    On the Van….I think that I will gift you “Moondance”. Once you listen to the lyrics and the passion I think you’ll be hooked.

     
  4. music maven

    April 1, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Jazz — you have given me “points to ponder”….

    I have definite thoughts about “Magic Time” and “Pay the Devil”. I’m feeling like a Van complete retropective but in the meantime….

    Stranded = You’ll Lose a Good Thing.

    As for Pay the Devil….”What Am I Living For?” is MAGNIFICO!

    “….Nobody else, nobody else will do….”

     
  5. Jan

    April 1, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    DD: This blog is great. I still have some reading to do.

    Shelley: Van IS the man. Really. I’m trying to think of a song that may resonate with you. For me it’s TB Sheets, You’re My Woman, and Woodstock.

    TB Sheets Live: The version on the Bang Sessions is so great but I have packed up all of my CDs.

    I couldn’t find the other two on YouTube.

     
  6. Jan

    April 1, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    That video of Caravan is so great. I love YouTube. I am in awe that I can see people perform live who are no longer with us. People I thought I’d never see live.

     
  7. Tee

    April 1, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Hi DD…saw your invite over at Boogie, nice place you have here! Thanks for offering an outlet where we can chat about music.

    Elliott: For the most part, I’m pleased with his new CD. There’s one “skip” track that I don’t particularly care for (I’m The Man), but other than that I have no complaints. I’m an R&B fan, so the runs don’t bother me (as long as it isn’t overdone)…I think he managed to reign it in on this CD though. If I have one minor complaint, it’s that there are too many ballads and not enough uptempo tracks. The ballads, while decent, start to blend in to each other. Other than that, I think it’s a decent first effort.

    Domino looks just like my kitty Shelli!

     
  8. Mrs.C

    April 2, 2007 at 7:09 am

    LOL, at all the busy bodies all up in Elliott’s grill with musical taste so outdated it would make my mother grimace. I feel for your neighbors, honestly.
    Whiter Shade of Pale sounds out of place? A bonus recording out of place? Okie.

     
  9. jenfera

    April 2, 2007 at 7:36 am

    I gave Elliot a full listen on the preview they had on AOL music. I got bored with it. I like his voice, but like Shelley said, it was all too synthesized for me. And, does anyone else think he just looks a little spooky on the CD cover? I like the curls and the new teeth, but why does one eye look SOOOOO much bigger than the other??

    I have to say, I am a Van Morrison dope. I didn’t realize until just recently how many of his songs I absolutely love. And you know how I found out? From those handy-dandy players over on Tay-online of all the songs he has been covering on the tour. I have been listening and saying to myself, “Oh yeah! That’s Van Morrison too! Love that song!” Duh.

    http://www.tay-online.com/discography/Spring07_CoverList.htm

     
  10. jenfera

    April 2, 2007 at 7:38 am

    P.S. – Stella says hi to Domino and she totally digs his taste in music.

     
  11. music maven

    April 2, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Good stuff, Jen…the TayOnline.com site has some great record keeping.

    Mrs. C — I never promised you a rose garden. To each his own on musical taste which is why I prefaced my remarks that E’s music isn’t exactly my cup o’ tea. As for my neighbors, maybe my music is the cause for them always coming over.

    Jus’ sayin’.

    Oh, and I stick by the Whiter Shade of Pale comment. It just doesn’t fit his style nor the CD.

     
  12. leejolem

    April 2, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I like Elliott’s new hair–it’s adorable. I don’t think I’ve seen a pic where he shows his veneers. I think they always go for that tough, serious look on cd covers (ie, Taylor Hicks). To me veneers often look like they’ve given you 2-3 extra teeth to fit in your mouth, just my opinion. My fav Elliott song from AI was Moody’s Mood for Love. I’ve been toying w/the idea of buying his cd. Can’t wait to listen to the songs you gave us MM.

    As usual, I’m musically in the dark, and had no idea that Van Morrison performed Moondance. I lerve that song. I can’t listen to the others (i’m at work), but I will tonight. I probably know more of them than I think.

    Domino is an adorable pussycat. He has a beautiful face.

     
  13. Tee

    April 2, 2007 at 9:26 am

    In defense of Whiter Shade of Pale, since it’s a bonus track I don’t think it necessarily has to flow with the rest of the CD. JMO. Of course, I’m biased since I’m an Elliott fan, but I thought your review was fair.

     
  14. shrewspeaks

    April 2, 2007 at 10:36 am

    AHHHHHHHH Van “da Man” Morrison – I have been a fan since college. He is one of those artists that moves me so much that I hurt. He causes this clawing pang in my soul that sends me spiraling deep into the melody. I seem to float along freely following his vocal wherever it leads me on an act of musical faith unparalled with any other artist. Seriously, I can’t work while listening to him…I get lost.

    Here are two more offerings:
    The precious from Jazz Fest Simply Stunning.

    Street Choir from 1974
    I suggest you check out all the Montreux Clips on Youtube Great Great Stuff. Talk about fierce singing!

    As for Elliott…I think the styling is great. The cd however, has somewhat a casio tone to it. I also agree with you on the runs…Nina Simone on one of her cds stops her bad and says “you’re pushing it…don’t do it unless you feel it” I think Elliott falls pray to “doin’ it cause he can” rather than cause he feels it.

     
  15. shrewspeaks

    April 2, 2007 at 11:01 am

    And DD…thank you just for being here.

     
  16. Hickstyeria

    April 4, 2007 at 1:49 am

    DD,

    I heard a couple of tracks of Elliott’s but as I’m in Canada, I couldn’t download it nor could I buy it anywhere it seems – perhaps it’s not available here yet? So I asked a friend going over the border last weekend to get me a copy at ‘Tar-Jay’ and I now have it in my sticky mitts! I wasn’t sure what to expect and I can’t say every song is to my taste, but I like quite a few tracks – it’s not bad at all and I too like ‘Movin’ On’and ‘Free’. I confess that I quite like ‘Wait For You’ – the melody lingers with me even if it’s on the poppier side of R & B. Good first release though and since I was concerned he might not get any label initially, I’m happy that he’s doing so well already. He has lots of time to grow musically. As for his look, I like the hair better and I think it’s an overall makeover designed for us to forget he’s a ‘nice Jewish boy’and make his look a little more ‘generic’. It’s easier to sell him that way and if the curls make him more ‘hunkalicious’ to some then I say ‘Go Elliott’!

    Have only one Van Morrison CD which is a greatest hits compilation but when I hear it, I’m reminded of a lovely time I had with friends in Italy years ago – it was our ‘road trip’ CD while we were on the ‘Bright Side of the Road’!

     
  17. JazzLeavesHerNumber

    April 4, 2007 at 8:14 am

    DD, one of the things I love about Pay The Devil is that VM got the essence of the pure ‘country’ and Nashville sound while recording in Ireland with his all-Irish bandmates. And the three original songs that he added to the great country classic tunes are as good (dare I say ‘or better’) than the old-time stuff, IMO. I’ve never been that much of a country fan per se, but when I do country, I like it PURE and AUTHENTIC … and Van nails it in that department, as usual.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on Magic Time. It’s been my favorite for quite a while now. “Celtic New Year” never fails to make me cry. After a bad day at work, I play “Keep Mediocrity at Bay” and sing along at the top of my lungs to let the demons out. And then there’s “Just like Greta Garbo”, which is my personal anthem :-)

     
  18. nolagirl

    April 4, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    DD, it’s so funny because *I* heard “These Are the Days” in the movie “Nine Months” and went on a search to find out who that was. That sent me onto my Van kick. Seeing our two parallel stories, it seems fitting that he has a movie hits CD out!

    I am glad you reviewed this because I saw it was out, but was “iffy” about getting it. Now it’s on my list.

    Thanks for the live “Into the Mystic.” Just love, love that bari sax “fog horn,” man. I think I’ll put in Moondance on my morning commute tomorrow!

     
  19. nolagirl

    April 4, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Oh, and I tend to agree with you on Elliott. A pretty good effort, but if you don’t *really* like R&B, it’s not gonna hit you in the gut.

     
  20. Dingo

    April 17, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Van Morrison…a once in a blue moon kind of musician and I am blessed to be from a generation that grew up with him

    Into The Mystic…argueably the best song he ever wrote or performed. IMHO, one of the best songs ever written. Thanks for the vid.

     

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