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Happy Songs

3.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 17, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

HAPPY SONGS is a departure from the contemporary, featuring new performances of the great masters of the American pop song from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The music featured - by Gershwin, Arlen, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart and others - was written during the darkest days of the Depression and World War II, and aimed to lift people's spirits and souls in hard times. The arrangements are crafted true to the period, ranging from big band or strings to duo-piano and solo guitar. Two present-day compositions also find their way into the album's program - by Michael John LaChiusa and Jay Leonhart - and both will be familiar to fans of McDonald's live shows.

Amazon.com

Can a diva sing the blues? Past efforts at torch singing by the classically trained have sometimes left listeners feeling more stung than singed. But in tackling this slate of songs from the '30s and '40s (seasoned with a couple of newer, era-friendly tunes by Jay Leonhart and Michael John LaChiusa) for her third studio album, multiple Tony Award winner Audra McDonald has wisely remembered that plumbing their emotional core requires more than perfect vibrato and resonates from a place just slightly to the left of the diaphragm. McDonald claims this collection was inspired by the birth of her daughter. If that's the case, she is going to have one joyous, soulful child. The singer ranges from the gorgeous, delicate smoke of "I Must Have That Man" and the standard "More Than You'll Know" through the saucy jazz of Leonhart's "Beat My Dog" and loopy spunk of LaChiusa's "See What I Want to See" to the breathy blues of "Tess' Torch Song" and unabashed romance of the Gershwins' "He Loves and She Loves." And if the exotica-goes-Broadway ethos of the Brazilian "Bambalele" seems slightly askew, it nonetheless meets the album's happy criterion. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ain't It De Truth?
  2. Tess's Torth Song
  3. I Must Have That Man!
  4. Bambalele
  5. I Wish I Were In Love Again
  6. Supper Time
  7. Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good
  8. Beat My Dog
  9. On A Turquoise Cloud
  10. More Than You Know
  11. See What I Wanna See
  12. He Loves & She Loves
  13. I Double Dare You
  14. Lose That Long Face


Product details

  • Audio CD (September 17, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B00006FXHI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,029 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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on January 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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on February 7, 2014
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on October 13, 2002
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on November 2, 2002
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on May 31, 2013
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on December 17, 2007
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on January 28, 2005
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