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My Friends & Me

2.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 7, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The finest female artists of our generation alongside the legendary Dionne Warwick presenting newly recorded versions of the greatest songs of her career. Artists include Deborah Cox, Celia Cruz, Da Brat, Cheynne Elliott, Wynonna Judd, Kelis, Gladys Knight, Cyndi Lauper, Reba McEntire, Chante Moore, Mya, Olivia Newton-John, Angie Stone and Lisa Tucker. Dionne will be on tour throughout the fall with west coast dates scheduled for October and November.

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Any megawatt artist with four decades of music-making behind her deserves the chance to cut loose once in a while. But in Dionne Warwick's case, the sense of playfulness and artistic abandon (that has served old-school contemporaries such as Bettye LaVette well) doesn't necessarily suit her longtime fans. Classics like "Walk on By" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose," the consensus goes, ought not to be sullied with new voices or older ones no longer in their prime. That's one way of looking at My Friends & Me. Another way is as a chance to get to know Dionne in her golden years: The seasoned diva's vocal chords may not be as resilient as fellow senior scenesters Tony Bennett's or Gladys Knight's, but they're still unmistakably her honey-smoked own (check "Deja Vu"). And her son, the producer Damon Elliott, may not suffuse each track with Bacharach-style melancholy, but his bag of tricks is not without tenderness and sophistication. Cyndi Lauper warms to it best; "Message to Michael" drapes its Kentucky bluebird in sweet yearning. Elsewhere, Warwick is content to step aside and let future legends strut through her catalog with their newfangled stuff: "The Windows of the World," featuring Angie Stone, Chante Moore, Deborah Cox, and most memorably Da Brat, dispenses almost entirely with Warwick, not to mention formality, and fast-forwards its social commentary to 2006. Groan at the mid-song rap if you will, but its content--misplaced as it may be on a Dionne Warwick disc--redeems it. And so it goes with the rest of this record. If you're not too to traditional-minded to roll with it, you should.--Tammy La Gorce
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B000IFQLAA
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,688 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Dionne Warwick Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This CD is a sad lesson in what can result when even a Legend such as Dionne allows nepotism to take a front seat to common sense. Her son may have meant well, but he's done more damage than good to dear ol' mom. No seasoned producer worth his salt would have allowed Dionne to go through with this project, not if they were honest and cared. It was just a rotten idea from the start. Can any of us imagine, for example, Quincy Jones hearing the poor production values on this CD and giving it his blessing? David Foster? Clive Davis?

Dionne had been shopping this project around for more than 2 years to various major record Labels and none of them were interested in her "Trio of duet CDs of my old hits" concept. For a moment, many fans feared the worst--that she'd never get signed to a major label again, that the prevailing sentiment in the industry was that Dionne's once beautiful, raspy voice that could do no wrong had finally lost its power and ability to enthrall music listeners.(Let me state for the record, that was not the case for me, having seen her live as late as November of last year and witnessing Dionne in fine voice as she brought the house to its feet with stirring renditions of her classics).

Finally, Concord decided to take a chance, signing her to a 3 CD deal. Fans were elated and hopeful that the powers that be would at least encourage her to go in a more creative direction, or at best, choose an experienced producer who would breathe new life into the songs she selected, using REAL INSTRUMENTS instead of synthesizers and drum machines. Unfortunately, they gave her carte blanche to do as she pleased, hence, this pitiable result, which will no doubt add another stain to the twilight years of her discography.
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Format: Audio CD
The reviews of this CD have been mixed, and deservedly so. I don't think many of Dionne's fans were looking forward to this product in the first place, other than for the prospect of finally getting something new by Ms. Warwick. Her constant re-hashing of her old hits (particularly the Bacharach/David catalog) is getting old, and I wish she'd stop. As far as I can tell, no one is really interested in these re-workings. The originals stand on their own as some of the best music ever recorded, so the remakes inevitably pale in comparison. In addition, the duets concept is definitely stale. I think most of us fans want to hear Dionne sing new songs that suit her reserved alto voice, with mature, subtle, acoustic arrangements that compliment her mature style. Her Christmas album from a couple years ago was a good example of the way that Dionne's voice should be framed these days.

Which brings me to my next point. We have been hard on Dionne for the cheap production values evidenced on this CD. True, this thing sounds like cheap kareoke. But I don't think it's really Dionne's fault. The kind of sophisticated production we yearn for--Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, full orchestra, etc.--costs a lot of money. Record companies advance artists money to fund their records, and that money goes against any royalties the artist might receive. If the artist can record the album for less than the advance, then that is money she gets to keep. Conversely, if the artist goes over-budget, then that money counts against her royalties until the company recups the advance. If the album doesn't sell, everybody goes in the hole.
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Format: Audio CD
As a long time fan of Dionne, I cannot recommed this cd to anyone other than die hard fans. There are much better versions of all the tracks available. If you want to hear how this album might have sounded, try Cliff Richard's 2006 duets cd "Two's Company"...featuring Dionne Warwick on "Anyone Who Had A Heart". Dionne sounds so good and the production is excellent. It gives a taste of what could have been achieved in this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Poor production and rearrangements with a lot of synthesised music doesn't do any good to the legacy and talents, please keep that in mind for the future releases, this cd is NOT recommended unfortunately I purchased it because I'm a die hard fan.
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Format: Audio CD
Miss Dionne has never looked better. The CD art shows her almost aglow, and it's lovely to look at. Alas, her voice HAS been better. Still, she's a singer of style and grace and she will always be among my favorites -- I literally grew up with her, first on albums then on eight-track then on CD. Miss Dionne has previously released two CDs of Dionne Sings Dionne (I own both volumes), and for the new duets album to have truly flown we needed to hear different songs, experienced a surprise or two. Her career catalogue is splendid and expansive, and I wish the producers had dug deeper for material. The point is, this CD is for die-hard fans or newcomers. Which brings me to this: I wish they'd release her wonderful disks from the 80s, like NO NIGHT SO LONG, HOW MANY TIMES CAN WE SAY GOODBYE and the masterpiece that is HOT! LIVE AND OTHERWISE. Her singing on these is peerless and perfect, and that's the Miss Dionne I could recommend over and over.
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