Customer Reviews


50 Reviews
5 star:
 (42)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If she's going, she's going out swinging.
The swan song of aging vocal artists is sometimes pretty thin and often disappointing. Not so this outing by the inimitable Etta James. The vocal register is lower. The pace is slower. But she's still belting out classic jazz and R&B songs to that funky groove that makes you want to rub up against someone. I could wear out a turntable listening to Misty Blue as I did when...
Published on November 14, 2011 by P. Picard

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Soulful but many very familiar songs
I love most of Etta James' recordings, but this has a lot of familiar songs on it that I've heard better versions of. My husband plays it over and over in the car though, so he loves it.
Published 22 months ago by Brigitte Pauli


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If she's going, she's going out swinging., November 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
The swan song of aging vocal artists is sometimes pretty thin and often disappointing. Not so this outing by the inimitable Etta James. The vocal register is lower. The pace is slower. But she's still belting out classic jazz and R&B songs to that funky groove that makes you want to rub up against someone. I could wear out a turntable listening to Misty Blue as I did when I was a teenager. Cigarettes and Coffee is paen to the great Otis Redding, but with a vibe that is all Etta. Of 11 tracks on The Dreamer, there's not a weak cut in the bunch. Diagnosed with leukemia and Alzheimer's Disease, Etta James may be going, but she's going out swinging.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Queen of Soul, November 8, 2011
This review is from: The Dreamer (MP3 Music)
I love Etta James with all my heart, though I'll be the first to admit she's had some rather mediocre albums lately. This one's quite solid, however...her best since "Burnin' Down The House." Appropriate, given the weight of this being her final studio album. This time out, the arrangements are lush and meaty, capable of supporting a heavy like Etta--which is crucial because she's really going for it on this record. "The Dreamer" is light on MOR cheese and full of deep, wise soul music. I'm going to miss this woman. A lot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic & engrossing finale...Bravo Etta!, November 15, 2011
By 
Bradly Briggs "sing it!" (TOLUCA LAKE, CALIFORNIA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
Etta James has been doing it in legendary style for the past fifty years and is truly the original "The Queen Of Soul", title of her searing not to be missed classic mid-sixties album now finally released on compact disc! Etta started having early sixties Top-Forty mega-hits ("At Last", "Something's Got A Hold On Me", "All I Could Do Was Cry", "Stop The Wedding", "Trust In Me", continuing on to many great R&B classic hits) long before Aretha hit big on Atlantic Records in 1967, being the reason why always wondered how that title got away from Etta as she earned it first & deserved it. Easily had this legendary icon better breaks & promotion, these towering careers would have paralleled as talent is equal...truly "The Queen's Of Soul" for many long-time admirers and fans of classic soul music, these amazingly gifted ladies are uniquely original and best of the best.
"The Dreamer" finds the legendary Diva with that rich sounding glorious toned voice in fine & funky form blowing out soulful blues and rhythm cookers as only she can...haunting vocals have that distinctive bite making this singing great a one of a kind classic legend sounding so good over and over again & the more you play Etta, the more she gets under your skin. Hopefully "Grammy Awards" will rise to the occasion this one last time for this mesmerizing collection of great performances, giving the lady her just due...Bravo Etta, thank you for many years of sublime listening pleasure and great entertainment over the decades in all of those awesome live & very memorable performances...you are as good as it gets!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done, Miss James, November 15, 2011
By 
r.j. zurek (Cape Coral, FL United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
When an icon the stature of Etta James retires, just what approach should she take for her final recorded effort? Remakes of her classic hits, or an album with lots of guest stars ( a duet with Beyonce on "At Last"? Yeah, right). What we have is a collection of R&B that fits her style, and some surprising choices of artists from different genres.

In a recent interview, Maria Muldaur commented that as singers age, their voices "go south". She meant this, of course as a positive-the deepening and coloring of the singer's voice adds authenticity, especially in the Blues. King Floyd's "Groove Me"is the best example of this as Etta implores her lover to "make me feel good inside". She breathes new life into two lesser known Otis Redding songs, "Champagne and Wine" and "Cigarettes and Coffee". The title cut, Bobby Bland's "Dreamer" may be the most engaging track on the CD.

The biggest surprise here is the Guns n' Roses (!) hit "Welcome to the Jungle". The melody stays true to the original, but Etta gives a mature, ominous reading as only she can. The Little Big Town song "Boondocks" is a fun track propelled by the guitar of Leo Nocentelli. The Ray Charles blues "In the Evening" fits Etta like a glove, as does Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "That's the Chance You Take". Little Milton's "Let Me Down Easy" is Soul/Blues at its finest- over seven minutes of horn driven R&B featuring Cornell Dupree-style guitar.

Accompaniment on this disc is especially sympathetic because of Etta's sons participation; Donto James on drums and Sametto James on bass. Her backing band in recent years, John Sklair and the Roots Band handle rhythm arrangements, while the studio band is augmented by a full horn section.

Two lovely pictures of Etta adorn the CD booklet-the front photo has her looking sad, almost pensive. The inside photo shows her with a knowing smile, a look of self satisfaction. I hope this is how she felt after finishing this recording. Thank you, Miss James. You've moved us and grooved us for over fifty years. Well done, ma'am.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. James is powerful everyday people, December 16, 2011
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
I just found out about her being terminally ill, and I'm fondly remembering the lady who claimed me even though she didn't know me from Adam.

My friend Mike invited me to see Ms. James perform at a small venue on Folsom St. in San Francisco, in the late 80's. My family played her often when I was growing up, but I wasn't really into R&B deep at this stage in my life. Still Mike had taken me to see Bobby McFerrin, and he was awesome, so I knew I would enjoy Ms. James.

Standing online in cold winter, wearing a very punk outfit which was in stark contrast to the much older and better $ endowed crew that I was in the midst of, the usher refused to let me enter. He said that I had to show proof that I wasn't underage. I had left my ID in another coat pocket, though I knew they just didn't want me in there. Mike had paid for the tickets and was beginning to cause a scene though I just wanted to leave.

Ms. James came with members of her band from the back entrance, stared and listened for a moment then came barreling over shouting: " That's my niece, let her in, I've been waiting for her". She grabbed me up and kissed me on the cheek. The usher looked at me, then Ms. James... We're both high yellow, and could easily pass for kin. He apologized profusely.

Ms. James gave Mike and me front row seats, which I kind've wished were further back because her voice was pure sonic power. Recordings of her singing are great but do not do her justice. I saw James Brown live in NYC, when I was a small child, and as with Ms. James: there is no alternative to experiencing that level of mastery live.

Ms. James sang with such pure raw emotion and strength, that I repeatedly raised my hands in hallelujah reverence. I could care less what the rest of the audience thought. She and the band fed off of Mike and my energy, and vise versa... It was cosmic.

At the end of the show she gave us both a big hug and kissed me again, and told me to tell my momma she'll call her soon. I told her that I would.

May heaven carry her home in the wings of angels.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dreamer, November 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
Truly a welcoming sound from Etta James. I have been listening to her music for a while and I must admit that some CDs were good just because it was Etta James but this "The Dreamer" is excellent in style and offers tranquility and calmness that drifts the listener into dreams of happiness, remembrance and acceptance of life and it's experiences. Thanks Etta for such soulful music throughout your career.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Etta James, November 13, 2011
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
This is great Etta James. Sorry it is her last studio recording. The songs and arrangements are great and Etta is right in the pocket. This is a must have Buy it on CD.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Etta James The Dreamer CD, December 11, 2011
By 
Renee Mengistab (SOMERSET, NJ, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
This CD is absolutely fabulous! I listen to the CD almost every day! I would definitely recommend buying it. Her voice is clean, crisp and soulful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ave Atque Vale: Etta James, January 20, 2012
By 
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
Another Giant has fallen. Etta James, possibly one of the most important blues and jazz singers for the past half century has dies, but this recent recording showed that despite her troubled and difficult life, she remained a tantamount artist to the end. Some background information may support her position in the archives of music: 'Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 - January 20, 2012) was an American singer whose style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid 1950s, she gained fame with hits such as "Dance With Me, Henry", "At Last", "Tell Mama", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" for which she claimed she wrote the lyrics. She faced a number of personal problems including drug addiction before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album, The Seven Year Itch. She is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists. Jamesetta Hawkins was born on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles to Dorothy Hawkins, who was only 14 at the time. Her father has never been identified, but was rumored possibly to be white (Caucasian). James speculated that her father was the pool player, Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone, and met him briefly in 1987. Due to her mother being often absent carrying on relationships with various men, James lived with a series of caregivers, most notably "Sarge" and "Mama" Lu. James called her mother "the Mystery Lady". James received her first professional vocal training at the age of five from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir, at the St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles. She became a popular singing attraction at the church, and Sarge tried to pressure the church into paying him money for her singing, but they refused. During drunken poker games at home, he would wake James up in the early hours of the morning and force her through beatings to sing for his friends. As she was a bed-wetter, and often soaked with her own urine on these occasions, the trauma of being forced to sing meant she had a life-long reluctance to sing on demand.

This collection of songs offer a memorable farewell to the artist whose best known song was 'At Last' - a love song but it could also be an autobiographical capping of a gifted singer whose life was periodically threatened by her addiction to heroin and pain killers. Perhaps knowing that all that was behind her adds to the luster of her burnished voice and inimitable style she offers here. She was and always will remain a great musician who brought to new heights the various genres of music she embraced. She will be much missed and warmly remembered. Grady Harp, January 12
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this!, January 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Dreamer (Audio CD)
I can't say enough about Etta James. Etta did not go out on a whimper in this last recording that she made. Her voice is deep and strong and full of soul. The cd is produced very well and the arrangements are very good compared to some of her other recordings. I highly recommend this for all the Etta fans out there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Dreamer
The Dreamer by Etta James (Audio CD - 2011)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.