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This album is not what id call a timeless classic, and no i didnt enjoy it as much as i had hoped because what i was hoping for, was this soft piano, a few relaxing tracks, major and minor but instead this is more of a sing along album, with the lyrics sounding like they are being sung through a poor quality microphone. That has to be the pinicle of the problems with this album, i can only understand some of the words. Theres a ton of great lyrics in here, and this album gets a star just for that (more on that in a moment) but for the way in which they are sung by both male and female voices, is just out of context and lifeless.
The piano solo's scattered throughout the album are fast paced and really have an interesting "jolly" feel to them. Most of the country and western sounding tracks though focus too much on the drums. Track 12 has a beautiful piano chorus but the symbols and guitar drown it out too much and when the female sung lyrics come in, i can barely hear it at all. Its a shame because this is one of my favourite parts of the album.
Track 1 starts wth an amazing piano solo but immediately gets drowned out by a saxaphone, and i didnt think the symbols added too much power to the song, its all about balance for me and i just didnt feel like there was any. Even with the sax solo in the middle it just didnt feel right.
Track 3 is a very slow paced track which starts with a calm, relaxing piano and female vocals that are on key but the volume is all over the place, sometimes singing too softly ao i can hear, and then belting it all out quickly drowning the other instruments. Track 4 is my favourite track on the album, it goes back to croaky voiced lyrics and a piano stuck on the high notes. It really comes together, perfectly balanced, understandable and meaningful lyrics, this is exactly what this album should be about.
Some of the tracks have a reggae feel to them, track 19 for example, but its completely ruined by some bloke with a cockney accent going on endlessly about his mates, and in the chorus it sounds like lilly allen has joined in, and i really hate lilly allen... With a passion.
This could have been something great, it could have been a balanced, varied and unique album but i just didnt feel that.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Tuxedo Junction - Holland, Jools
2 Where Have All The Good Guys Gone - Holland, Jools & Lulu (NEW)
3 Out Of This World - Holland, Jools & Chrissie Hynde
4 Snowflake Boogie - Holland, Jools & Edwin Starr
5 In The Dark - Holland, Jools & Norah Jones
6 Horse To The Water - Holland, Jools & George Harrison
7 To Love A Child - Holland, Jools & Ruby Turner (NEW)
8 Enjoy Yourself - Holland, Jools & Prince Buster
9 First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Holland, Jools & Stereophonics
10 Seventh Son - Holland, Jools & Sting
11 Just To Be Home With You - Holland, Jools & Shane McGowan
12 Darkness On The Face Of The Earth - Holland, Jools & KT Tunstall
13 Return Of The Blues Cowboy - Holland, Jools & Joe Strummer
14 I Put A Spell On You - Holland, Jools & Mica Paris/David Gilmour
15 Rock Me - Holland, Jools & Blind Boys Of Alabama
16 Georgia On My Mind - Holland, Jools & India.Arie
17 Think - Holland, Jools & Tom Jones
18 Valentine Moon - Holland, Jools & Sam Brown
19 Oranges And Lemons Again - Holland, Jools & Suggs
20 Mabel - Holland, Jools & Solomon Burke/Eric Clapton
21 If You Wear That Velvet Dress - Holland, Jools & Bono
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Best Of Friends - The Story: Documentary
2 Gilson Lavis (Jools' drummer) interview
3 I'm In The Mood For Love with Jamiroquai (video)
4 Oranges And Lemons Again with Suggs (video)
5 It'll Be Me with Tom Jones (video)