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Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin

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Audio CD, August 17, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description



"The Like in I Love You' is a stunning love song to love and music themselves -- `the muse in music' as Wilson sings. `Nothing But Love' is similarly a gorgeous musical expression about the timelessness and power of love itself." -- David Wild

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 17, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Disney Pearl Series
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,763 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 101 people found the following review helpful By P. Kennedy on August 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I would have to say this album is Brian Wilson's Nice 'n' Easy. It feels uncannily smooth and cool, like a perfect summer evening - and for all my wondering whether the blending of Wilson's California style of sunshine pop and Gershwin's Tin Pan Alley east coast sensibilities would prove an uneasy marriage melted away. It's been well documented that Brian has been a long time fan of Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" and how he wanted one day to do a vocal-only version of the concert staple, and here, bucket-list-like, Brian bows into the album with the fulfillment of that wish. Brian's love of these melodies, and hit suitability to them is a happy shock - although it shouldn't be - Gershwin-style songs fill Brian's oeuvre, although you'd have to be familiar with their respective canons to realize it: the soaring melodicism and melancholy of "Summertime" is echoed in the wistfulness of "Caroline, No"; the cheeky socio-double-entendres present in "I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" is taken to its modern-day extreme in Brian's "Busy Doin' Nothin'"; and the resilient note found in "They Can't Take That Away From Me" can be found in "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times." But this album succeeds in more than sympathetic compatablility - Brian sounds completely immersed in these songs - he's never sounded this invested in his singing - not even in his earliest recordings - he interprets these songs in what sounds like deeply personal ways, alternately sly, wistful, and smiling - from the silky Bacharach-flavored bossa-nova found on "S' Wonderful" to the call-and-response party of "They Can't Take That Away From Me" to the Beach Boys bass-line groove found on "I Got Rhythm" - this album is absolutely wall-to-wall fantastic.Read more ›
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Michael Neiss on August 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD
A sobering and unexpected question from a co-worker when I mentioned the imminent release of this titanic pairing of recognized masters - hoping against hope that the potential downside and inflated expectations of "reimagining" such a well known and respected canon of Gershwin classics would be avoided. Well, generational amnesia not withstanding, Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin is a really good (almost great) recording that builds-out on the strengths of Wilson's nonpareil gifts as an arranger and producer while deftly compensating for his understandably diminished vocal capacity.

Wilson's Gershwin is a beautiful, fully realized soundscape that deserves uninterrupted and repeated listening. What Wilson summons is an America before surfboards and Elvis when music was the province of melody, nuance and a full spectrum of emotions beyond anger. This is a gorgeous (and wonderfully flawed) record that may get a Grammy nod on sentimentality alone - but just might deserve it even if you have never heard of Brian Wilson or the Gershwin brothers.

Highly recommended.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just got my pre-ordered copy of "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin" in the mail. This is a release I have been looking forward to with great anticipation. I figured that given the significance of this undertaking and the potential criticism that it might induce the album was either going to fall flat on its face or be simply sensational. I spent the better part of last evening listening to this disc and I am very pleased to report that Brian Wilson has done it again. "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin" succeeds on just about every level. It is an album that is at once extremely interesting to listen to and highly enjoyable as well.

Critics are already touting "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin" as one of the year's best releases. I couldn't agree more. New York Magazine says "Wilson has created gorgeous and unexpected arrangements that strip away decades of familiarity." Although this disc is relatively short by today's standards (about 40 minutes) there are several highlights worth mentioning. "Summertime" is one of the greatest tunes ever penned and Brian Wilson does Gershwin proud and makes this venerable favorite all his own. I was particularly taken by Wilson's instrumental version of "I Got Plenty O' Nothing". This one will get your toes tappin' lickety split. Meanwhile, experience Brian's take on other Gershwin favorites like "It Ain't Necessarily So", "I Got Rhythm" and "I've Got A Crush On You". Outstanding! And sample Brian Wilson's fine arrangement of "Someone To Watch Over Me". As far as I am concerned that one ranks right near the top of the list of tunes in the Great American Songbook. Now what makes this project so unique is that with the permission of the Gershwin family Brian Wilson was able to complete two unfinished Gershwin tunes.
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45 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on August 17, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The upper tier of the Great American Songbook acquaints itself with island breezes, doo-wop arrangements and SoCal-friendly harmonies as one of America's foremost singer/songwriters pays tribute to one of his idols on "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin."

Both Wilson and George Gershwin are titans among contributors to American pop culture, making this album noteworthy and significant by mere fact of its having been made. Luckily for listeners it goes beyond predictability. Staying true to the title, Wilson sings and arranges the selections in almost exclusively unorthodox fashion.

It is better to see an artist try something new and fail than hit all the "right" notes with no texture or originality. This makes the unremarkable moments largely forgivable.

Wilson is in fine, fluid, large voice throughout. He sounds infinitely inspired on "I Loves You Porgy", and with a full orchestra to back him the results are sublime. He adds Beach Boys pep to "I Got Rhythm" as well as "They Can't Take That Away From Me," gifting the album with an earnest, playful atmosphere. "Love Is Here to Stay" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" are gorgeously executed as well - it is hard to miss with a great singer and a great song.

Other selections lag. "It Ain't Necessarily So" is too heavy, with the orchestra overblown and more upfront in the mix than Wilson's vocal, which is overloud in its own right. He may still have the chops at 68 to project loudly and forcefully, but it is not always necessary to do so. "S' Wonderful," one of Gershwin's most languid, adorable songs, suffers likewise, lapsing into a wash of sound, saved only by an affecting flute solo.
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Brian's Gershwin
That happens about 2 months after the initial CD has slipped off the charts. I would anticipate the "deluxe" edition with 1 CD bonus track (probably an instrumental) and the DVD right before the Friday after Thanksgiving rush to the stores. By my logic, that means that this... Read More
Jun 28, 2010 by David Moore |  See all 8 posts
How many copies of the vinyl were pressed?
I've seen one numbered over 3000 and others between 1000 and 3000
Sep 10, 2010 by Virgil Urp |  See all 3 posts
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