Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: 30
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on October 24, 2001
This will be one of the albums I keep in my CD changer forever. It has some with vocals, and some just instrumental. For the most part it is just Harry and his piano. It is very mellow and is a great way unwind after a crazy day. He does get a little up tempo with "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" and "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree". My favorite song on the album is "There is Always One More Time". Harry has a guest vocalist on this song. It is a beautiful song and Harry makes it even more beautiful. He is a truly gifted pianist and singer which he proves with this album. I would have liked to have seen a little more originality in the two albums he released this time, but he did not let down this fan by any means.
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on October 25, 2001
I have read the Amazon.com editorials on both '30' and 'Songs I Heard' and have to completely disagree with the negative tone that the dear editor portrayed on the album (30). I bought both albums at the same time and initially liked Songs I Heard better, as it is a very warm album. However, 30 is gaining ground quickly. It seemed to me that there was a larger percentage of instrumental music without voices than normal in 30, but still Harry shines through in both piano and voice. I will say, though, it seems to me to be more towards a blues album (maybe Harry's mid-life crisis? ;-P ) and focuses almost primarily on losing someone (a girl) rather than holding someone. There is certainly a hint of Harry's New Orleans jazz roots with two songs specifically referring to it ( track 6 and 9). For the editor to say the vocals on "There's always one more time" is out of context is to not understand the context. Was it different from the other tracks? Certainly. Perhaps you can argue that, but it follows a line of progression.... jazzy--New Orleans--Blues-- You could swear they are in a New Orleans Soul Gospel church in about 95 degree weather and 110% humidity singing the roof down. In that context, it follows beautifully. 30 is different. 30 is good.
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on January 12, 2002
When I was a teenager in the mid-60s playing Kinks and Yardbirds numbers in garage bands, if anyone had told me that one day I would maintain a complete collection of albums by a man young enough to be my kid who sounded like Sinatra, the rock'n'roll loyalist in me would have made me want to deck the person who said that. But here I am today, reviewing an album that--by my standards of those days--does not have a beat. We need a reminder every so often that the TV Special Connick with his tux and his babe magnet looks is such a great piano player that he played for a Dixieland band as a middle-schooler (see his album "Eleven"). So it should come as no surprise that this album needed (with little exception) only Harry, 88 keys and a couple of mikes. Like with his laid back renditions of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'" and the Dixieland classic "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans". His version of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree" is forgettable, but then again, so was the original. But he counterbalances that with his straight-ballad rendition of "Speak Softly Love" from "The Godfather", which deftly avoids falling into a drugstore paisan cliche that Harry doesn't have the credentials for. He's never been a poseur and he reminds us of that in his music all the time. I found one number here amusing, though. I've heard the old dance-hall term "ladies' excuse-me waltz" most of my life without really knowing what it meant. But the hesitation rhythm Harry puts to "Somewhere My Love" from "Doctor Zhivago" reminded me of that old expression, with its step-oops, step-oops, step-oops--like a dancer afraid of stepping on his partner's toes. If that isn't a ladies' excuse me waltz, I don't know what is. Well, next on the agenda is his "Songs I Heard", which I'm reading some negative reviews on here. Probably from customers who expect Connick to put out cookie cutter releases. Myself, I happen to LIKE the man's versatility.
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on November 17, 2001
With this CD you will hear Harry at his most intimate just his piano and voice and a few close friends. You feel that you are actually sitting in on the recording. His playing is both exciting and mellow and his singing is soulfull and inspiring. Some reviewers seem to be confused that Harry does not sing on every track but that is the nature of such CDs as 11, 20, 25 and 30 where Harry's piano playing takes the spotlight. Harry minus his big band does not mean the listener is being short-changed instead they are experiencing another side to his music. Relax and enjoy it!
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on February 8, 2003
I enjoyed his previous album, "25," which was a similar type of album: playful, pared-down and intimate, showcasing Connick's natural singing and piano skills. I particularly enjoyed that and also this album, "30." Connick's singing style is easy and strong, without being too processed or smooth; I particularly liked songs which showcase his imaginative and offbeat renditions on the piano, such as "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Somewhere My Love." These were refreshing and I wish more artists had the talent to showcase their takes on songs without "having" to sing a note. This is a thoroughly enjoyable album and I hope more listeners understand what he is doing with it -- and really "get" it.
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on November 22, 2001
Yesterday I bought my very first Harry Connick Jr CD. Anything I have ever heard of Connick's before has been very upbeat, fast, and fun, and man, what a voice. When I popped "30" into my CD player I was suprised. This was not what I expected at all. This was slower, more mellow and not much of that sexy voice. But you know what? I still love it. It's more of a "curled up by the fire with a glass of red wine, with a specail someone" kind of CD. Just lay back and enjoy. Sometimes you don't have to sing a note to say anything at all.
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Harry Connick, Jr. remains a star in the entertainment industry; but this particular CD fails to bat it completely out of the ball park. Although there are many moments of greatness on this CD, some songs fall short of what I expected.

The CD starts off with Harry Connick, Jr. both singing and playing the piano for "I'm Walkin'." Harry's plays the piano here without a superfluous note and his youthful energy oozes out of his very masculine voice. Indeed, his voice has a certain sensitivity to it that simultaneously displays a noticeable strength at the same time. "I'm Walkin'" certainly gets the royal treatment from Harry!

Harry then plays a creative rendition of "Somewhere My Love." Trust me; if I had played some of those notes when I was taking piano lessons as a kid my music teacher would have killed me! "Somewhere My Love" works but it doesn't work well and that's a disappointment.

And now back to a good number. "The Gypsy" boasts a solid and haunting piano arrangement and Harry sings this to perfection. Harry brings out the romantic feel to this number seemingly effortlessly--good job!

"Tie A Yellow Ribbon On The Old Oak Tree" is another successful track from Harry; although he doesn't sing this number he plays piano with a great sensitivity that I rarely enjoy.

Other gems on this CD include "Speak Softly Love" from the film entitled The Godfather; Harry plays this with a great energy while so many performers do this as a softer ballad with more subtle nuances. Harry's rendition works well. "Don't Fence Me In" showcases Harry's voice quite well and Harry's piano arrangement is perfect. I especially like that Harry sings the typically unheard opening verse of "Don't Fence Me In."

"I'll Only Miss Her (When I Think Of Her)" features Wynton Marsalis playing both piano and trumpet; Wynton starts off playing the piano and if you listen carefully you really can hear Harry sliding onto the piano bench to continue the piano playing for the rest of the number. Just like the case with "Somewhere My Love," there are again a few key changes that I don't care for; but overall the number works.

The liner notes give you an essay from Harry himself; and you get the song credits as well. Look for Reverend James Moore to both sing and play the organ on "There Is Always One More Time." Reverend Moore's artistry definitely enhances the beauty of this number and takes "There Is Always One More Time" up to a higher level.

Overall, a true Harry Connick, Jr. fan will consider this CD a "must-have" for their collection; and people who enjoy that jazzy type of piano playing will love this CD, too. The track set is not as strong as it could be; but this show proves anyway that Harry Connick, Jr. will perform for quite some while to come.
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on November 7, 2001
Personally, I think Harry is best with some big sound and more focus. I do like jazz and the blues, but can't really use this record to suggest that he is focused on any thing of great substance or something worth remembering.
Clearly, an extremely talented and 'multitasked' artist, but perhaps trying to do too much or be too many things.
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on November 11, 2005
For starters, if you love Connick's croon you don't get it very much on this album. It's primarily a showcase for his work on the ivories.

Those who know Connick well realize his capacity on the instrument and his ability to re-invent dusty classics and make them new again. (His take on "Sleigh Ride" from WHEN HARRY MET SALLY was a great example.) Unfortunately, most of these numbers, while experimental, just don't work that well in the end.

Case in point: Harry's attempt to inflate 70s piffle "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree" into grand player piano roll music. He succeeds in making it sound "old" but not in imbuing it with elegance..it's simply a fluffy piece of pop music and the arrangement only succeeds in demonstrating the lack of substance underneath the fluff in the Tony Orlando rendition.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Gospelly "There is Always One More Time" gets a lot of its punch from Reverend James Moore's vocals and organ playing. Porter standby "Don't Fence me In" gets a nice Nawlins' shuffle and a relaxed vocal from Connick.

LOWS:

"I'm Walkin'" completely enervates the Fats Domino classic of all its drive and forces this listener to realize how much that song's greatness derives from Domino's exuberant singing and the Dave Bartholomew rhythm section. Bleah. "The Gypsy" is a complete yawn. The aforementioned "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" is another miss.

BOTTOM LINE:

I got this one for free as a promo while working as a record store clerk. It was worth what I paid. Skip this one.
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on December 3, 2001
I really enjoyed this CD! Harry explores all different genres.....I especially like #9 and #11, because I a fan of the French Quarter/ New Orleans style that I will always know him for...A good buy! The CD for you if you prefer the mellow, demure side of Harry.....
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