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Double Standards

Lea DeLariaAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Price: $17.81 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B0007QJ1F2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,627 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dancing Barefoot
2. Kiko And The Lavender Moon
3. Call Me
4. Philadelphia
5. Just A Girl
6. Been Caught Stealing
7. Black Hole Sun
8. People Are Strange
9. Tattooed Love Boys
10. Alliance
11. Longview

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On her follow-up to Play It Cool, the 2001 album that introduced her reinvention from comedian to singer, Lea DeLaria performs jazzed-up versions of pop and rock numbers. She leads off with a version of "Dancing Barefoot" that Patti Smith fans will be hard-pressed to recognize, then goes on to put the jazz stamp on numbers such as No Doubt's "Just a Girl," Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," and Green Day's "Longview." In full smooth-chanteuse mood, DeLaria keeps the gratuitous pyrotechnics in check and is at her best on the tracks where she and arranger/pianist Gil Goldstein stick to the original melodies--indeed, most of the songs on this CD are distinguished by immediate melodic accessibility, and choosing to trust them is the wisest choice. And the musicians certainly deliver. Still, it's hard to shake off the impression that this is a stylistic exercise that gets caught up in its own self-aware coolness. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Product Description


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(11)
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you old-school rockers...Take the leap March 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
When I first heard that this recording existed, I was skeptical. I mean, really, who would want to hear Blondie's "Call Me" jazzed up. But believe me, Lea Delaria et al take this song, and the others, to a new level of feeling. Very sultry, indeed.

By the time I got to Green Day's onanistic "Longview", I was sold on the idea. I have been exposed to jazz/torch singers in the past but I would never have believed that "Been Caught Stealing" could be done the same way.

If you are a fan of jazz and/or a fan of the originals, you will be happy you own this. It is great to see a artist attempt to bring jazz to a younger audience.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A success! March 29, 2005
By Jim
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a very successful album. The arrangements, production, and talent is right on the mark. Lea manages expertly the difficult task of translating rock songs into a traditional jazz vocabulary and the band is excellent. She succeeds where most jazz singers fail (maybe because she was smart enough to avoid Joni Mitchell's brilliant but mostly impossible songs). "Philadelphia" is so well done that it is destined to become a new jazz standard. It's stylish jazz at its best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
In the past two weeks I've reviewed Petra Haden's "The Who Sell Out" and this one. Rarely have I heard two albums, so close in time, which constitute very impressive performances of doomed ideas.

In the case of Ms. Haden, the issue isn't doing a vocal jazz rendition of "The Who Sell Out" album; the issue is doing an all-vocal recreation by having one artist singing a bunch of tracks into the mixing board.

In this case, the issue isn't doing a vocal jazz rendition of alt rock or punk tunes from the '80's and '90's; it's doing these tunes.

In fact, initially I really liked the idea that someone was willing to take on this project. A plus mark for any vocal jazz artist who is willing to take the artform beyond another cover of "Love For Sale." And in its execution, if you didn't know these tunes, you'd say that this album sounds very good.

Here's the problem: jazz in its heyday was about taking popular music of the day, exploring it and making it edgy. Think of Coltrane's "My Favorite Things", or even Louis Armstrong's "Dinah", and you know what I mean.

But how can you possibly take Green Day's "Longview", for example, Soundgarten's "Black Hole Sun", Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders' "Tattooed Love Boys" or Jane's Addiction's "Been Caught Stealing" and make them edgier than the originals? You can't; and in particular, Chris Cornell's anthem to teenaged angst sounds like well-done lounge music.

The tunes that work best on this project are the ones that are the least edgy, the least about teenage angst and sexual irresolutions. Neil Young's "Philadelphia", Gwen Stefani's "Just a Girl" and the Doors' "People Are Strange" all sound fine.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond style May 28, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This second of Warner Bros. planned four disc deal with Lea DeLaria is captivating and fine. Once again, MUSICAL values are the driving force and the reason for the occasion. The provenance of the songs themselves is as far from the point as you can wander in the face of subtle and convincing instrumental work of a first rate band coupling the deliriously heart tuned singing of Lea DeLaria. The band assembled here is tight enough to succeed even without a singer! Seamus Blake's tenor sax work is consistently standout, busting loose on Morrison's 'People Are Strange'. Chris McBride's bass makes points as an emotional instrument rarely explored nowadays. Beautiful percussion effects on 'Alliance'. Gil Goldstein's arrangements (and his keyboard work) think and move and end up so right each time. DeLaria's singing comes more into its own on this second outing even if the first effort took on her home turf Broadway. Lea's ways are uncanny. There's an edge to even her tenderest moments, and you know she's right. Most important, she's a musician of rigorous standards, and that goodness rewards every track. A CD this fine smashes category, jazz or otherwise, the years will prove it. DeLaria's transformations of herself, her music and ideas about art meanwhile plunges forward. It's all good.

Amazon reviewer Vincentelli writes "it's hard to shake off the impression that this is a stylistic exercise that gets caught up in its own self-aware coolness." She's unaware of the kind of self-awareness pervading Lea DeLaria's musical art, neither stylistic exercise nor in the least caught up (a spoiler, she means) but a vital part of the whole, a modern approach sampling homage and shunning imitation - indeed a coolness.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This album jazzes! June 3, 2005
Format:Audio CD
The concept is simple...take rock and punk songs and transform them into the jazz milieu. Lea Delaria has an alto that is nicely sultry and smoky and it adds heft to some of these songs that wasn't always present in the originals. On the other hand, some of these songs just proved to be ill-suited to a jazz format despite good arrangements..the lyrics don't hold up to the scrutiny you give them in a "torch song" style.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Delaria's managed to take a song I never really liked and make me give it a second look. Her take on No Doubt's "Just a Girl" reminds me a bit of the Rippingtons at times. It has a buoyant fun feel that turns it into more of a "girl power" anthem than the feminist screed it had sounded like to my ears when Stefani and company did it."Been Caught Stealing" is a funk-jazz fusion shuffle and Delaria's clearly having fun in the "bad girl" persona of the shoplifter. "Black Hole Sun" is much more well arranged here than in a Steve and Eydie version from the LOUNGEAPALOOZA compilation from years back.

LOWS:

"Kiko and the Lavender Moon" already had a somewhat jazzy feel when Los Lobos did it and I thought the arrangement here was too close. It didn't bring anything new to the song. Green Day's "Longview" just didn't translate that well to jazz. It's just too jarring to hear masturbation lyrics over cocktail music.

BOTTOM LINE:

I'm not sure if this is the wave of the future for attracting younger fans to jazz, but the sensiblity here is NOT ironic. Delaria's not a hipster poking fun at rock a la "lounge"...she's trying to add to the catalogue of jazz songs. Perhaps more judicious choices next time out will lead to a truly fabulous album. This will probably appeal most to openminded rock and jazz fans and Delaria diehards. Rock and jazz purists alike will probably hate it.

3 1/2 stars
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