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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 29, 2013
Emmy Rossum's second CD, Sentimental Journey, features 12 songs, each one an American classic, corresponding at least loosely to a month of the year. The songs date from the 1920s through mid-1960s. To capture an authentic early 20th century sound, the album was recorded with a live band in just three days, using vintage mics and mastered to tape.

And, it works. You could actually almost mistake this album for one raided from your grandma's collection of 78s and LPs; the production, arrangements and vocals are all very retro.

Rossum performs the songs with her own personal interpretations, though in most cases not straying too far from the way they were originally performed. The result is that they're renewed, giving us a really fresh, fun listening experience.

THE SONGS:

Rossum dreamily performs the title track, Sentimental Journey, kicking off an album full of romantic, nostalgic songs.

"The Object of My Affection" is sung in enthusiastic 1920s style, and its romanticism is perfect for Valentine's day. (The brief spoken-word exchange between Rossum & a male before the final verse is really cute, but maybe a little much.)

Another 1920s song, "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover," is an obvious - but fun - song in honor of St. Patrick's Day, even though it's actually a love song. It's performed in grand style, with a big chorus, sounding as if it came from a big Broadway production or old-style Hollywood musical.

April brings "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)," which has been recorded by everyone from Billie Holiday to Frank Sinatra to Michael Buble. A sexy, swingy number featuring jazz piano and horns, Rossum sings it with sweet, wistful longing for an absent lover.

May's track, is a slow and romantic version of "I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time," which Rossum says her mother sang her to sleep with as a child, and was a big hit for The Andrews Sisters back in 1941.

Next up is "Summer Wind," a breezy remembrance of a fleeting summer romance. Rossum believably sings in in something approximating Rat Pack style, backed by a sophisticated, horn-filled band.

The upbeat "Many Tears Ago" written circa 1960, is a classic old-school country-style kiss-off song to a former lover.

Next up is a 1930s big-band song, "All I Do Is Dream Of You," an upbeat, happy love song which Rossum sings with conviction, backed by her talented band in high style.

September brings "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out," which was written in 1923. It's been recorded by dozens of artists, including Bessie Smith, Janis Joplin, and Eric Clapton. Rossum energetically & believably delivers this sad tune of a formerly rich and popular woman, now penniless and alone.

The next track, "Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes)" a slow, thoughtful, song about loss and memory, sung partially in the original French.

The mood rises again with The Bobby Darin song, "Things." It's a pop song written in 1962, but still has a late 1950s vibe. Like many of other songs on this album, it too is based upon memories, but there's nothing particularly deep about it - it's just a fun, joyful, upbeat look back at fun times spent together.

"Pretty Paper" on the surface seems to be about Christmas shopping, a close listen will reveal its real subject - a moving reflection on the homeless, who are lost and ignored amidst all the holiday glitter, hustle and bustle. The song opens with a gospel choir, but soon Rossum alone sings with lush orchestration. It sounds like a song you might have heard during the holidays on AM radio in the 1960s.

With the calendar year over, the album ends with a bonus track, "Keep Young and Beautiful," written in 1933 - and very, very old-timey. It tongue-in-cheekly advises, "Take care of all those charms / And you'll always be in someone's arms / Keep young and beautiful / If you want to be loved." Rossum sings it charmingly (even if its message is debatable).

TO SUM UP:

Sentimental Journey is an apt title for this album. It's a celebration of romance, of memory - and of the ever resonant tunes of the American songbook which are beloved and reinterpreted decade after decade. This type of music never goes out of style.

Since these songs were written over a 40-year span, this makes for a lot of different musical styles, but, happily, the choices made in selecting, producing - and Emmy Rossum's vocal talents - result in an album which hangs together really well. As the album finishes, you you feel as if you've just emerged from a trip to another place & time. It's musical escapism that's a pleasure to return to time and time again.

If you enjoy the classics of the 20th century, or are looking for a fresh take on them, Sentimental Journey deserves a place in your music collection.

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this album in exchange for an honest review. Rest assured that the opinions here are my true feelings. I've happily listened to this CD several times already, and would gladly have spent my own money on it.)
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on February 8, 2013
this album is very enjoyable. The old standards that are on this album are terrific and the harmonies and instrumentals are pure joy. Nice to hear the classic style and it is not over produced, so the sound is pure and lovely. Rossum's voice is deep and rich and warm. The fullness of her voice is not common in today's music world. Rosemary Clooney would be proud.
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on February 1, 2013
Dear Music Appreciators,

The first time I heard Emmy Rossum sing was in a little movie called SONGCATCHER back in the year 2000. She was cute as a button and every time she sang I got goosebumps. I still think of that movie every time I cross paths with her work.

This is an album of good old fashioned classic songs. The drama kids and the choir kids will eat this up. Many artists have recorded similar albums, but only a select few get it right. With SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY Emmy Rossum gets it right and her album deserves to reach a wide audience

But what it is about these recordings that works so well?

Here's my guess:

High-quality classical training + God-given talent + love and respect for the material + energy and enthusiasm.

There is also a refreshing absence of what Holden Caulfield might call phoneyness. Even though Emmy is playing dress-up in a bygone era, something about the music feels refreshingly authentic.

Throw in what I imagine was a top-notch production team and twelve straight cases of picking the right song for the right singer and you get a thoroughly enjoyable album that made me sit up and listen.

Eighty-six years after it was written, when the right singer gets a hold of a song like "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover," it can still make a person perk up and feel a little better about life, and I'll be darned if I didn't absently-mindedly press down on that gas pedal just a little too much as I was driving down the street listening to Emmy sing that song. I'm sorry officer, I was listening to Emmy Rossum singing "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover" and I guess I got a little carried away...

But I'm afraid if I did get pulled over like that, the cop might not know who Emmy Rossum is, which might mean I'm not getting out of a ticket, which might mean Emmy Rossum isn't getting the kind of universal adoration she deserves for her remarkable singing ability.

Sincerely,

Constant Listener
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on February 22, 2013
I purchased this product because of the particular songs that were on it but now I'm so pleased to have discovered this very talented artist who beautifully delivers the music I enjoy so much. Emmy: your music has brought listening pleasure into my home. Thank you.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 1, 2013
Several weeks ago while previewing the upcoming new CD releases on Amazon I spotted an album that really intrigued me. It was Emmy Rossum's "Sentimental Journey". The concept behind this disc was that each of the 12 tunes would reflect either lyrically or emotionally one of the twelve months of the year. Frankly, I had never heard of Emmy Rossum so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. This was no aging rock star trying to hang on for dear life. Rather, this appeared to be a gifted young singer who had a passion for this kind of music. Why else would a major label like Warner Brothers release a disc like this? So I took the plunge and ordered it. After savoring "Sentimental Journey" multiple times last evening you can count me an instant fan. This is a truly remarkable recording.

Although I was familiar with The Andrews Sisters very fine version of "(I'll Be With You In) Apple Blossom Time I had no idea that this tune first hit the charts way back in 1920. Emmy Rossum has a special place in her heart for this one as her mom used to sing it her as a bedtime lullaby when she was a young child. Emmy does an outstanding job with this number and makes it all her own. Perhaps my favorite number on the album is "The Object of My Affection" which was a #1 hit for The Boswell Sisters in 1935. Emmy's rendition of this classic tune just might be the best version of this song that I have ever heard. Other selections included from the Great American Songbook are Bessie Smith's Depression-era standard "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", "All I Do Is Dream of You" from the mid 1930's, a really cool arrangement of "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" and of course the title track "Sentimental Journey". Damn good stuff! Other notable songs on the album are "Many Tears Ago" which was a huge hit for Connie Francis in 1960 and a very different take on Johnny Mercer's "Summer Wind" which had been a hit for Sinatra in 1966. I thought Emmy's version was outstanding!

While I was playing "Sentimental Journey" my wife came into the room and wanted to know who the singer was. When I said Emmy Rossum she was as clueless as I was. Since we don't go to the movies very much we had no idea that she has appeared in a number of feature films including "Songcatcher" and "Phantom of the Opera". We were also unaware that Emmy had been in the Children's Chorus of New York's famed Metropolitan Opera. I was also quite surprised to discover that "Sentimental Journey" was only the second album recorded by this incredibly gifted young vocalist and her first in nearly seven years. I mentioned to my wife that as far as I was concerned Emmy Rossum was as talented as a young Barbra Streisand....perhaps even better!

On her website Emmy Rossum talked about her new album. She explained: "I wanted the album to have an old fashioned authenticity, which is why I got a bunch of musicians together, put them in one room and said `Okay, we're going to do this in three days,'" she says "I love the sound of 1920's records, like the Bessie Smith I grew up listening to, which is why we mastered to tape. We were flying by the seat of our pants but it all worked out." It sure did! Emmy Rossum is very wise for her 26 years. By the way those musicians were outstanding, most notably Giulio Carmassi on the piano. For me, listening to "Sentimental Journey" proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This is one disc I will enjoy again and again. And when the 2013 Grammy's are handed out I fully expect "Sentimental Journey" to be among the winners. Outstanding in every way! Very highly recommended!
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on January 30, 2013
She would've been a household name. This is a collection of talent showcase material from said period. I prefer her bluegrass songs,but that is the genre that hits my heart. If you like this period music,you'll love this.
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on March 11, 2013
At first I was disappointed to learn that she had not continued her own creative style of writing as her first album which was so hauntingly beautiful but after listening to this album I can say she made a smart choice in both choosing songs that suit her and are classic without being overdone and creating an overall theme by having each song reflective of a month of the year. She takes each song and makes it her own in a beautiful way. A nice soothing yet uplifting album that makes me smile every time I hear it. Im really glad she did this even though I love her original music as well. Like I said she can really sing ANYTHING and this album proves it. Such an amazing voice with so much emotion and youthful energy. I love it!! Thanks Emmy!
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on February 18, 2013
Emmy Rossum, has a voice that can sing anything from Phantom to Gershwin. I was very pleasantly surprized to hear some of my favorite old songs on this album. She has that old soul sound, that those of the big band era. I have about worn out Sentimental Journey . I play it in the car and sing a long... and for me that is a 5 star CD.
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on February 20, 2013
I bought this CD after seeing Emmy Rossum on a daytime Talk Show. She sang one of the songs on this CD and I just loved it. Brought back many childhood memories. I can remember my Mom singing "I'll be With You in Apple Blossom Time". It was her wedding song and she loved it. Every 'oldie' is beautifully sung. You will not be disappointed. Emmy Rossum has a lovely voice, easy to listen to, and you can actually understand every word she's singing!
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on February 2, 2013
I've been following actress/singer Emmy Rossum's career for quite a while, and I think that one of the truest things that anyone can say about her is that she never does what one might expect. For example, in 2004 she earned many positive reviews and several awards for her performance in the film version of Phantom of the Opera. After that many fans expected an album for classical crossover music and showtunes. Instead, Rossum took a year off from filmmaking in order to cowrite and record 2007's Inside Out. The album mixed adult contemporary pop with new age. While it earned some accolades, the primary criticsm of it was that while Rossum has a beautiful voice, the layered vocals on the album obscured it somewhat. Rossum then left music for a while to make several films and star on the hit Showtime series Shameless: The Complete First Season (currently in it's 3rd season). But in 2013 she released a follow up album of a very different style.

"Sentimental Journey" is a collection of covers of popular music of the 1920's-1960's. The songs are arranged as a musical calendar, with each one evoking, either lyrically or emotionally, the feeling of a different month. Hence songs like "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" for March (St. Patrick's Day), "These Foolish Things" for April (April Fool's Day), and "Apple Blossom Time" for May. According to Rossum, this was the music she grew up with. It was what her mother played around the house when she was a child, and sang to her as lullabies. Her emotional connection to the material definitely comes through here. The best thing I can possibly say about this album is that Rossum makes these songs, written many years ago and covered by many artists since, sound fresh. The notion of the album as a musical calendar doesn't feel gimmicky (it could have!) and Rossum connects beautifully with the emotional content of the different songs: she'll make you smile on "The Object of My Affection" (which features a spoken bit from Rossum's "Shameless" costar, William H. Macy), and weep on "Autumn Leaves (Les Feulles Mortes)".

One adjective that a lot of people use to describe this album has been "jazzy". Interestingly it's the less "jazzy" tracks that I like the best: "The Object of My Affection", "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover", "Apple Blossom Time", "Summer Wind", "Autumn Leaves", and "Pretty Paper" are among my favorites. Not that the jazzier songs are bad! Rossum sounds sultry and rich on songs like "These Foolish Things", "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", and the title song. She also gets in touch with her country side on the song "Many Tears Ago" (Rossum sang bluegrass tunes in the 2000 film Songcatcher). Interestingly, "Pretty Paper", which was written as a country song, is taken in a different direction on here. Unlike many actresses who consider themselves singers, Rossum has a beautiful voice. She also has a strong musical background and a gift several different styles.

Will this album ensure that classics of the past are on the top 40 once again? Probably not. But it provides us with a lovely interpretation of some of these standards and hopefully it will at least introduce some of Rossum's younger fans to the popular music of a different era. It's hard to say where Rossum's music career will go from here, but one thing I can predict is that she's unlikely to do what's expected!
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