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on August 23, 2000
After spending months asea in the joy of the Wild Party CD, Mandy my favorite, but enjoying all of the artists, the lyrics and the music, I came up for air and went back to listen to the Mandy that brought me here in the first place. This man has a beautiful voice. But that is not enough. A lot of people sing beautifully. I luxuriate in the sound of an artist filled with passion who can sing sweet songs like Over The Rainbow or Pennies From Heaven, then move into the more intense numbers like Brother, Can You Spare A Dime, a war classic, which somehow sounds more frightening, urgent, and contemporary than ever before, then switch gears and move me to tears with Sondheim's Pretty Lady or Sonny Boy. It is tough to explain because most of these songs (other than Sondheim) and the rest on the CD are not part of my generation's repertoire, and even though they were familiar, I was never moved or excited or filled with my own sense of connection to the writers of these works before.
I suppose I just need to conclude by saying that despite the comments of those who find Mandy over-the-top or too melodramatic, I find everything he sings touches my heart, and makes me feel in a profound way: anger, tension, love, joy. The passion this man brings to his work overwhelms me at times but that I believe is a wonderful thing and I admire him for his intensity and humor and love and desire to be his true self, rather than play to the room: sing the songs that might get more radio time or less criticism. He is his own person and those listeners like myself who love his talent so much are lucky to have access to it, not just when a concert or a play comes around, but any time we want to slip in a CD and listen. His critics hurt me (I can't speak for how/if they hurt him) with their sarcastic analysis of passion undefiled by cynicism or sarcasm (though some of his songs are witty or humorous or...) and I wish they would listen to this first solo CD again with fresh ears. If you love Mandy as I do, go back to this one and remember how moved you felt by a song with an incredibly bad title: Anyone Can Whistle. What? But didn't it touch your heart by the end? If not, you need to spend more time with it and maybe it will soften your heart and deepen your soul. Feel lucky to have that opportunity.
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on June 19, 2000
While it's always dangerous to make blanket statements, it's also fun. That said, Mandy Patinkin is the most divisive performer working in musical theater today. His is a idiosyncratic and personal style, marked by a penchant for a crooning falsetto, a habit of assuming character voices and accents to fit a song and the overall tendency to perform a song, rather than just sing it. After plying his trade on Broadway in successful turns as Che (in a Tony-winning performance) in "Evita" and George in "Sunday in the Park with George" throughout the late 70-s - late 80's, he produced this, his first album. There is no middle ground here. If you are, like me, a fan of the man's style, you will find little to complain about here. Thrillingly bare-it-all belting is showcased on "Over the Rainbow?", "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup" displays several voices and "Love Unrequited" is a true acting performance. In short, everything you either love or hate about the man is here, in all its glory. Some of his later albums showcase a more accessible Mandy, singing in styles vocal CD afficionados are more accustomed to. Here, though, your choice is easy - love him, get it. Hate him - Don't.
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on November 11, 1999
I just recieved my Mandy Patinkin CD today and have not stopped listening to it infact i'm listening to it as I type. It is a total wrok of art. Every song on the album is just fantastic. My favourite if I had to pick is "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup". It sounds as if he put every fibre of his being into every song. His voice is amazing and I will never stop listening to this album. I would give it ten stars if that was possible.
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on August 15, 2000
The man is a musical genius. I cannot stop playing this CD, and when I am not at home, it continually goes round and round in my head - each and every song in order - which is driving me a little bit crazy. However, the immense pleasure I am receiving from his talent makes up for this slight inconvenience.
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on February 13, 2001
I am a Johnny-come-lately Mandy Patinkin fan in terms of his singing; it was only after I re-watched my videos of CHICAGO HOPE that I realized just how good a singer he is. This album from 1989 is exuberantly excellent. Mandy saturates some of these songs with heartelt emotion--the kind that some people dislike--but I liked it a lot, especially "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby", and "Sonny Boy." Oy, that boy can wail! P.S.>> If you don't understand "schmaltzy," then Mandy may not be your glass of tea.
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on June 13, 2006
Shortly after buying this album, I saw Mandy at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The stage was bare, with only an upright piano, a microphone stand, and a wooden chair. He came onstage barefoot, wearing black slacks and a white T-shirt, accompanied by Paul Ford, his pianist. No orchestra, no light show, no set, no distractions. For the next two hours, he raised the roof on the joint. Talk about working on a high wire without a net! In that setting, there is no place to hide; either you have the talent and show it or you don't. Not many of today's "entertainers" would have the guts to venture into that arena. It was an astonishing performance, as is this album. This is on my Top Ten list of CDs everyone should own.
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on October 3, 1999
After listening to this CD,I immediately got online and purchased tickets for a performance by Mandy. I cannot wait to "see" what I "heard" on this album."Somewhere Over the Rainbow" has long been my anthem of Fall, but with mandy's rendition it has become my daily morning ritual before I go out into the world. Listen to it with your first cup of coffee and try not to smile the rest of the day.....betcha can't do it.
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on November 6, 1999
A Voice like Mandy's only comes once. I am a braodway lover and I rank Mandy in my top three, including Colm Wilkonson and Anthony Warlow. Sorry but Crawford is just another good braodway singer. Patinkin has a voice from heaven and you should hear it.
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on April 26, 2000
This is one of my favorite albums. Mandy Patinkin sings with both tenderness and strength that never fails to move a listener. His interpretations paint a scene he is singing, and he takes you right along with him to where you can see the flowers (Pretty Lady), smell the coffee (in a cardboard cup), and feel the desperation (Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?). Outstanding.
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on May 16, 1999
This album is warm, touches the heart, yet makes you feel like singing along. Mr. Patinkin has a voice that very few are gifted with. His arrangements are fantastic.
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