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Open Road

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Gary Barlow ~ Open Road

Review

[George] Michael's footprints are all over Barlow's Open Road. Barlow, too, sings with slightly over-the-top ardor and gives in to a weakness for silly love songs. How else to explain his sticky-sweet cover of "So Help Me Girl," a 1995 country hit for Joe Diffie? Barlow is better off going a livelier route, caressing "My Commitment" with a sensual falsetto, turning up the funk with surprising confidence on "Lay Down for Love" and actually managing to utter the phrase "drowning in my autocratic ways" without sounding like a psychobabbling nut. -- People
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista Records/Sbme
  • ASIN: B000002VSL
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,777 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew M. Yau on August 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I do not care if he was the lead vocal of former Take That.
I do not care if people decide to compare Barlow with his fellow peer from Take That.
I do not care if others are being cynical about Barlow.
Nothing is important. You've got to listen to this debut album of Gary Barlow. When I picked up the headset at Virgin Megastore and started listening to this album, I had no clue of who Gary Barlow was. This is a very important point. How music moves and manipulates us can be very objective. The music from this debut album simply moved me the first time I listened to it. Track after track, the album surprised me with romantic tune like "Never Knew" and "Forever Love"... *Open Road", "Superhero", and "So Help Me Girl" are also worth the attention. Stop judging the artist based on what you hear or where he comes from. Follow your heart and listen to the music. You will not disappoint at this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Having been a fan of Take That, I was quite interested when Gary Barlow released his solo debut. When I bought this CD, I realized what a musical genius he truly is. This entire CD is wonderful. Gary's voice is like an angel. And the fact that he wrote or co-wrote many of the songs proves that he is not just a former boyband pretty face (although he is that as well). His cover of "So Help me Girl" far outshines the original country version and should have been a #1 hit here in America. The follow up single, "Superhero" was equally impressive and should have been a much bigger hit. Other stand-out tracks include "Hang on in There Baby" and the title track, "Open Road". Since the follow up to this album was never released here in the States, I have not heard it. It is a shame that American radio ignored Gary, because I think he is an amazing talent. I like his former bandmate Robbie Williams as well, but why does Robbie get all the press and Gary is overlooked? If you like beautifully crafted pop songs and have never listened to Gary Barlow, I suggest you buy this CD and give him a try. He is every bit as talented as anyone performing on "American Idol". Let's hope he puts out more CD's and finally catches on here in America.
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By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: Audio CD
First impression: without the other four guys to tell him "Oh Gaz, that's great stuff!" or, "Gaz that song's just awful," Gary Barlow doesn't know any better and puts out some of both. "Open Road" is an OK cd, but merely ok. Nothing on this album compares to Barlow's best stuff, namely what is on Take That's final original album, "Nobody Else": songs like "Back For Good." Gaz has said repeatedly his new music is more mature and pure, and to prove it he released his first solo single, "Forever Love," having touted it's a beautiful song showcasing just his voice and the sound of the piano. That's all very well and good, but that can't make up for the fact that "Forever Love" is boring as heck. It's just one of many tracks on this album which go overboard in being super-inspirational and/or just plain insipid. There are a multitude of rather sickly love songs with forgettable lyrics and melodies, and the best songs on the album aren't really his. "So Help Me Girl" is an old country song, "Love Won't Wait" an old Madonna song. Gaz's superb voice and tweaks to them add much, but it saddens me to consider the rest, the songs written totally by Barlow are just not up to snuff. "Superhero" and "Open Road" are decent, and "I Fall So Deep" is more memorable than most of the other tracks. But on the whole, there is a feeling of blandness to this album. Gary Barlow wants to be the new George Michael, but as was once said in a professional review, he's coming off more like the new Barry Manilow. I would say only "Love Won't Wait" is a bona fide pop song, the rest is a mix of easy listening ballads and love songs that are more or less forgettable.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
As already mentioned by others a LOT of expectation was placed on Gary as the former lead singer of Take That the biggest pop band in Europe and one in general Worldwide at the time. Hyped up by magazines as the new Elton John/George Michael as after all the previous year one of his tracks 'Back For Good' with Take That hit #1 in 31 nations and top ten in the USA.
In hindsight the only way was down really and it was his ex Take That bandmate Robbie Williams who redefined and showed the new way in pop for the decade that followed and in the process rendered his former pal safe and predictable in the pop world.

The album is a really good and strong pop album and had it been released the year before as opposed to during the arrival of Spice Girls and the Robbie brand of pop it may have done better. I think Gary focussing on America perhaps weakened his position in Britain as regardless of his huge past he was still a new solo act in the field.

43rd biggest seller of 1997 in the UK.

Worldwide year end singles: Forever Love: 94 (96).

Fun Fact: Legendary US record producer and music industry executive Clive Davis was so impressed with 'Back For Good' and Gary's song writing he signed Gary as a solo artist when the group split!

Album (weekly): UK#1 / Europe#4

Career Album Sales in the UK: 1 million

5.Love Won't Wait: UK#1,
6.So Help Me Girl: UK#11/US#44,
11.Forever Love: UK#1,
12.Back For Good (live): UK#1/Europe#1/US#7.
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