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Digital Booklet: Tenderness
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Outstanding new record from JD...original songs, heartfelt performances, all of his musical influences from folk to jazz to country to blues present. JD eschews the multi-layered harmony approach of his friends in the Eagles for the sound of his voice alone, which has just a bit of wear from age, for which the songs are better...the musical accompaniment is exceptional, piano, guitar, muted horns...free your mind of any expectation you might have of what this record would sound like, based on his past records, or the musical company he keeps, and you will likely find that JD is making the best music of his career...I'd argue that his last few records (If the World Was You and Natural History, along with this one) have defined him as an artist... before that, he was a songwriter who occasionally made records...really good records, but not necessarily records that defined his artistry.
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I purchased this album the day it was released and listened to it over and over again before reviewing. The music and arrangements are stellar and his lyrics, as always, intelligent and heartfelt. The fairly recent deterioration of JD's voice, however, is, to me, shocking. As recently as his two previous albums his vocals were consistently good. On the jazzy Something in the Dark, the best cut here, the vocal is better and he almost sounds like the JD of old. I think the 3 star reviews here are not for the work, but for the off putting vocals that frankly you could not identify as his if you didn't know before you listened. Give it a chance and get used to the vocal changes that perhaps came with age. I think then it can be enjoyed, as it should be. I am anxious to hear some other artist's interpretations of these beautiful songs.
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It was a surprise to see a new album by J.D. Souther, but I'm glad I bought it. These songs aren't played on any radio stations I can get. They're sort of a mix of blues, country, a little bit of rock and jazz, and some "easy listening," though I dislike that term. I have this artist's album from the 1980's with what I believe was his one "hit" song, "You're Only Lonely." Since then I've learned that he was an influential songwriter and collaborator for artists like the Eagles and James Taylor. It's great to see that some of the songwriters from the 1970's and 1980's are still writing and recording.
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As JD Souther mentioned in an excellent concert that I saw on December 7, 2015, we all need a little tenderness and that is why he named his new album with this name. (If you get an opportunity, see JD concert, he is excellent!). Unlike many of his contemporaries, JD still writes excellent music. Further, there is a very positive tone to his music which is what we need right now. Yes, there are a lot of issues with the world, but there is also a lot of good. It is always nice to see a musician focus on writing music on the good. His singing is good, and so is his playing. There is a jazz/country feel to it that just registers for me. This is my favorite new album of the year, and I highly recommend it.
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JD Souther's "Tenderness" is a strong set. The best track is "Something in the Dark" that has a catchy beat and recalls some of Souther's pop work, but with strings added and a smoky jazz-inflected arrangement that has a slightly sinister feeling, "You could have made a deal when your hands were steady, before you shut the door on your only friend." Other tracks like the lovely ballad "This House," the lushly orchestrated romantic tune "Dance Real Slow" & the ambitious "Downtown (Before the War)" are stunning. This is a strong chapter in JD's work. Enjoy!
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This is an excellent cd. A little different from what you'd expect from JD but well worth it. I've followed Souther's music from the beginning and it's nice to see how he's progressed and grown as a writer. 'Something in the Dark' is my favorite cut on this album. If you like JD I would highly recommend this.
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JD Souther does a great job with this album. He captures the former quality of his hit-making talent in songs like Something In The Dark, Let's Take A Walk and Dance Real Slow. JD's music on this album has a touch of jazz in it, with sax and trumpet solos showing up occasionally. His soulful side shows up on the slow songs just like it did in hits like When You're Only Lonely.
This is worth buying if you're a JD Souther fan (or even if you're new to him).
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I'd probably give this 4-1/2 stars if I could (sound quality) - I didn't even realize this title was pressed by Music On Vinyl until I received the LP, but it sounds very good, with the exception of a couple of faint 'crackle' sounds on a track or two. These are fairly minor, and unless you have a quite revealing analog system, you probably wouldn't notice, but they were there on my copy. This is a quiet, low-key, and very mellow record, musically speaking, and is recorded with a very intimate, close-miked sound that seems perfect for quiet, late-night listening. It's no party record, that's for sure, but the sonics are natural, warm, and involving.
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