Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: This Beautiful Life
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on December 8, 1999
For fans of the fast-paced swing of BBVD's first album, it may take a few listens to really get into This Beautiful Life. Scotty seems to want to croon and play the guitar a bit more, and I think the lack of brass (the trombonist left the band) also makes quite a difference. All in all, the songs are a bit slower, the lyrics more simplistic (perhaps because there are fewer covers), and the whole record feels less jazzed.
However, enough of the negatives: this is a good album. BBVD is branching out from covering swing classics to finding their own sound. Fans of music that harks back to the swing era won't be dissapointed as long as they're willing to hear some new sounds. Scotty's voice even grows on you after a while. Plus, BBVD was smart to hold their Jungle Book cover to this album. It's worth the price by itslef.
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on December 18, 1999
...Frank Sanatra with Benny Goodman? You get 'This Beautiful Life'. It's almost as if Scotty Morris and Harry Connic Jr got too cozy with each other in a hotel room somewhere on tour. If you need solid swing tunes to dance to, or if you're looking for a copycat of their first album, you might be disappointed with BBVD's latest offering. This album departs from its self-titled jump-swing predecessor, and puts some southern jazz emphasis in its music. 'Ol' MacDonald' in particular sound so much like Harry Connic Jr. that it fooled my wife. I like it though, the jazz influence is good, and BBVD makes it work. The music is upbeat, there is good tension in the chords, and the technical performance is outstanding. I'm glad I bought it.
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on November 18, 1999
These guys are ABSOLUTELY incredible if you're into the new age swing scene. I was fortunate enough to see them live in San Diego, and they performed half the tracks on this CD there, which was PHENOMENAL. If you like jazz/swing and Jump Blues/Jump swing, these guys are a DEFINITE must for your collection. They DO tend to play a lot of cover tracks of old Louis Prima, Cab Calloway, etc...But they revive the old tunes and throw new hits of their own in to bring swing into the new millennium!
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on March 27, 2000
Swing never sounded so good. Swing is back, and it's amusing that so many of the kids today think this is something new; little do they know that their grandparents grew up with this music back in the 1940's. Brian Setzer has released three CD's with his big band orchestra, and now Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has released its second. But where Setzer gives his swing music a heavier rock sound with his guitar, BBVD takes a more traditional approach to it recordings, although it's second release, This Beautiful Life, takes a few more risks than the first CD. While your grandparents may sneer and claim BBVD to be a poor imitation of the 1940's swing, it's obvious where BBVD's 90's swing music is rooted: firmly in the 1940's. BBVD focuses on the horn section, which sounds crisp and clear. The rhythm section is tight and exciting, while the lyrics are clever and can actually be heard - they're not buried in the mix.
I first heard/saw BBVD on the halftime show during the 1999 Super Bowl and promptly went out and bought their CD. When This Beautiful Life was released last October, I didn't hesitate to add it to my music collection. While perhaps not as high-energy as Brian Setzer, with his rock rhythm section and heavy guitar, BBVD is nonetheless exciting to listen to. If your preference is for the more traditional swing music of the 1940's, without sounding dated, buy either of BBVD's CD's, you won't be disappointed. Best cuts: When It Comes To Love, Big Time Operator, Who's That Creepin, and 200 Volts - the story of an escaped convict who is destined to have a date with the electric chair.
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on November 20, 1999
Suppose you didn't know anything about BBVD; you hadn't heard any of their songs or sounds before; and now you hear this new album. Then you were to listen to their first album. It obivious to hear that something is missing. There are many weak areas of music, that just take the mood away from the song. The melodies and articulations are sounding the same. The singing patterns are long, and a lot of times dull. There is not a whole lot of excitement with the horns this time. The only bridges in the songs are solos. Then following the solos it then turns back to the main progression. The drums beats are the same in many of the songs; however, the piano playing and the involvement of the piano is fantastic. I felt that in the old album the prescence of the piano was not known enough and at times it really needed to be brought out more. Though there were a few songs that had a neat twist to it, most of them didn't. There were some songs that had some energy in it, but thats because it sounded like they were emulating the old ones. I give it a two because I did enjoy the solos just as much as I enjoyed them on the last album. I believe that their next album will surely be the best album.
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on October 20, 1999
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is one of my favorite bands and I had been waiting for this album for a couple of months. I'm happy to say that I wasn't dissapointed. From the very first track, "This Beautiful Life" had me hooked. It's a great follow-up to their self-titled debut album. BBVD's sound has noticeably matured and changed. This is particularly evident on the first track, "Big and Bad". While still a swing tune, it has a sound that's different from most of the new swing music, as well as the previous recording from BBVD.
Scotty Morris' song writing is once again spectacular. All but two songs on the album are originals. I think that this adds to the creativity, not to mention fun, of BBVD's music.
The only thing that disappointed me about this album was the version of the song "I Wanna Be Like You". This song is also on the soundtrack to the movie "Swingers". That version is a different recording and is more up tempo and energetic. The version on "This Beautiful Life" sounds different and is not as good.
Overall, though, this album is *definitely* a must have for swing fans in gereral and BBVD fans in particular.
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on December 1, 1999
This Beautiful Life, the latest album from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is a swingin' good time. The tunes are all great, including a modified rendition of "I Wanna Be Like You" from the Jungle Book, and a hilarious adaptation of "Old MacDonald" dedicated to the late, great Frank Sinatra. I enjoyed this album even more than the last and highly recommend it to any hepcats looking for some great tunes to dance to or just to tap your foot to.
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on June 28, 2004
I was so impressed with the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Interscope) album that I could hardly wait for this one. And I was little dissapointed. I Wanna Be Like You is already issued on Swingers soundtrack but it's little faster. The greatest of them all in my opinion is 2000 Volts. Most of songs are slow but good! But I like previous album more!
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on March 29, 2000
Having followed BBVD since the release of their 1st independent CD, I've been a huge fan. I was fortunate enough to see them perform live for "free" at outdoor gigs at my hometown, so I have a special affinity for them. When the 1st national release came out, it seemed as if every piece of the puzzle needed to make them the best modern swing band fell into place. The addition of Joshua on keyboards made their sound full and complete. They had great songs with melodies that stuck with you for days! The updated versions of 6 of their songs were almost all better than the original versions because of the addition of keyboards (ironically, only Jumpin' Jack is slightly worse because of the keyboards, but not much!)
Unfortunately, the new CD doesn't hold the same interest. I don't have a problem with a band changing musical directions IF they pull it off with songs that are memorable. Part of the problem is that the songs on the 1st national release felt as if they had been matured and refined, not rushed. Almost every song had the feel of a band, that's knows the songs in and out, and has gotten them down cold. I don't get that sense with This Beautiful Life. Maybe losing a trombone player hurt the horn arrangements, but they don't excite me nearly as much as they did before! Very few of the tracks really stand out and grab me with their melodies. Scotty's vocals have always been, and will probably always be, the weak link in the chain, yet the music was always so awesome, that I didn't mind them. If BBVD is going to go with a softer, jazzier edge, then the vocals have to carry the songs more, and Scotty's just don't do it for me here! If they wanted to stick to a jazzier edge, then they should have remade "Cruel Spell" from their 1st independent CD. I bet these songs would sound a hundred times better live, then they do here. They're still not bad, but with the bar being raised so high by the last CD, this time they missed it by that much! They're still my favorite modern swing band, but I'm afraid that if the next effort isn't very strong, that they will fade away into obscurity, and that will be a sad thing indeed!
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on August 23, 2015
My favorite BBVD album to date. Recorded in 1999 with some of Scotty's best compositions. Also has the weirdest artwork on the insert. Lots of ballads that showcase Scotty's writing talent and his unique voice. Love it, love it, love it!
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