Customer Reviews

8
4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
Sound of Silence / Portrait of Carmen
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$10.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Carmen McRae was at her absolute peak when signed to Atlantic Records in the sixties and these two albums are magnificent examples of the art of singing at its very finest! "The Sound Of Silence" released in 1969, title song is engrossing and richly sung by Carmen and equally effective is her majestic definitive version of "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)". Stellar release of two classic Lp's has great vocals on each and every great song and Carmen makes seldom heard Billie Holiday "Gloomy Sunday" a total masterpiece with a chilling and haunting vocal that is uniquely original & completely unforgettable. "Portrait Of Carmen" released a year earlier in 1968, is an all time favorite vocal album being one of Carmen's finest ever! Funky and soulful is Carmen in the rowdy tour-de-force "I'm Always Drunk In San Francisco" while a stunning take on "Elusive Butterfly" is stirring and emotional. Every song is tremendous in this classic set featuring the magical voice of Carmen McRae in rich and powerful sublime form with glorious tones, easily making her one of the best of the greatest ever while earning that "Singer's Singer" title. Do not miss this sterling collection if you love great skilled & soulful singing with awesome orchestrations and arrangements...as good as it gets! Bravo Carmen & RIP
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2004
Carmen McRae has always been able to take just about any song, standards, jazz, rock, and pop, and transform them into something quite new. This is exactly what she has done on this 2-album CD.
The title song from "The Sound of Silence" is a gutsy vocal that is a huge improvement over the original hit. Her version of "McArthur Park" is tender yet rich. Her interpretation of "Stardust" is fascinating. Carmen vividly portrays despair in "Gloomy Sunday". "I'm Always Drunk In San Francisco" is jazzy with a full, gorgeous orchestra. "I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do" is one of those smooth sultry Carmen ballads. And the grand finale "Wonder Why" is an uptempo song.
The incomparable Carmen McRae has many sides. This two album CD is a fantastic trip down memory lane.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This collection shows how pointless it can be to classify music by genre. This could be classed as pop, jazz, R+B or easy listening, yet it is none of these, but a brilliant blend of them all. Fortunately, I realised a long time ago that the only classification that matters is whether I like it or not - and it passes that test with ease.

Although I don't recognise all the songs, I suspect they are all covers. Some were old songs even at the time they were recorded - Stardust and I got it bad were already nearly forty years old - while others were contemporary, but Carmen always stamped her identity on each and every song with her soulful voice.

Sixties songs are well represented, including Sound of silence, Elusive butterfly, Ask any woman, and Macarthur park, but I've never come across versions quite like these - they are very distinctive.

To sum up, this album could appeal to people who like any of the genres already mentioned, but may have most appeal for those (like me) who like a variety of different genres. If you only like one genre of music to the exclusion of all others, you may be best to look elsewhere for your musical entertainment.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2004
Two of the greatest - and least known - Atlantic albums of pop standards from the late sixties, in one package. Brilliant songs throughout, extraordinary performances by McRae. Unfortunately, Collectables failed to digitally remaster the tracks on this release, and several of the recordings suffer from significant amounts of noise distortion, as well as slight crackling, hissing and popping throughout. In fact, Carmen's brilliant renditions of "Elusive Butterfly" and "Walking Happy" are virtually unlistenable.
If you're going to experience a masterpiece, why ruin it for yourself? Skip this substandard reproduction of the original, and seek out the vinyl LPs instead, until Atlantic has enough insight and foresight to buy back the rights and digitally remaster all of this material.
I am unsure if the additional outstanding selections in the Collectables catalog (eg. Peggy Lee's 'Is that all there Is?,' Ira Sullivan's 'Horizons') suffer from such grave flaws, but after this rude awakening today, I'm not likely to take another leap of faith with the same label.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on May 27, 2015
This is a great deal for all the songs that are on these CD's. I enjoy all of Carmen McRae music.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2008
Carmen McRae addict here. What can I tell you?

According to one of the other reviewers, her version of Sounds of Silence is a huge improvement over the Simon and Garfunkel take--and I agree. Just hearing her version of the song alone was worth the price of the
CD for me.

Frankly, I don't care what the song is, so long as Carmen is the one doing the singing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on November 25, 2014
just first class
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Carmen McRae was truly an outstanding vocalist with incredible timing. It is a rarity to improve with age. Carmen McRae got better until ultimately she remains my top favorite vocalist (living or dead) of all time! No matter what song, this woman delivered the truth! I am so blessed to have been in the audience of three McRae live performances in my lifetime. From the pit at Wolftrap (Vienna, Virgina), outside in Ft. Dupont (Wash., DC) and most memorably at Blues Alley (Georgetown; NW, Wash,DC), I got to to see and hear the real deal!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed

Can't Hide Love, Expanded Edition
Can't Hide Love, Expanded Edition by Carmen McRae (Audio CD - 2012)

Ballad Essentials
Ballad Essentials by Carmen McRae (Audio CD - 1999)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.