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I have to be honest I was only really familiar with his song 'Lovely Day' until this came along. I was a bit dubious how Bill could claim to be ready for a greatest hits though, as he had had only two chart hits!
Who is he:
Bill is a disguinguised and soulful US male vocalist, he also plays guitar. He found fame with his song 'Lovely Day' which has been used in many adverts.
On the album:
I enjoyed 'Just The Two Of Us' which Will Smith went on to sample, a soulful and mellow song with smooth vocals from Bill. 'Ain't No Sunshine' is tackled with a rawness and showcases Bill's edgier side. His take on 'Lean On Me' is powerful and moving and will lift the spirits.
I found 'Grandma's Hands' lacking in merit, it was a bit sickly for me!
Artwork: A lack of photos of Bill, yet some arty shots instead
Production: Strong, Bill's vocals are crisp and radiant throughout
Overall: A good album if you like soul and want a soundtrack for a chilled mood
I came across this cd by chance it was in my dads collection and having heard a few cover versions of various tracks on it (namely Will Smith's version of just the two of us). I decided to give the album a listen and instantly fell in love with it. The vocals are so powerful and the songs are instantly catchy yet actually aren't annoying after 20 million listens. This album also possess what I think must be the cheesiest album cover in history, a pair of high heels, caviar, champagne, a rose amongst other 'sexy' objects. As this is a greatest hits there obviously isn't a bad track on it, yet I prefer some more than others. 'Just the two of us' is obviously a favourite, perfect for listening to on a rainy sunday afternoon, very smooth and relaxing. I think my favourite track here has to be number 2, 'use me' has such a fabulous bassline and is very, very funky, you just can't help tapping your foot to it, even if it does have a slightly dodgy subject matter. 'ain't no sunshine' is such a gorgeous song, very melancholy and superb strong vocals, perfect to sing along to. 'Lovely Day' is another one that everyone knows and it is the perfect summer tune, forget all this ibiza rubbish, this is the one. Very uplifting. 'I want to spend the night' is not one of the best tracks on the album, i tend to generally skip it, but its still pretty good to just chill out to. 'soul shadows' is another fab track with superb vocals, very very smooth. 'Lean on me' is another classic, another feel-good song: 'lean on me/when you're not strong/i'll be your strength/ I'll help you carry on', perfect for cheering yourself up. 'Grandma's hands' is another of my favourites, you might recognise it from being sampled on the Blackstreet song 'no diggity' the beat is superb, another c
lassic. 'Hello like before' is not one of my favourites, it seems to be a tad to cheesy for my liking, yet it still has delicious vocals complete with Bill's smooth style. 'who is he and what is he to you' the final track on the album is another of my favourites it has a gorgeous bassline, another song about the dramatic twists and turns in Bill's love life. I'd be suprised if someone hasn't or wont sample the bass from this track in the future, come on everything else has been covered. This compilation is a must buy it is perfect to chill out to or to just listen to all the time basically, hey and the cheesy cover alone is worth the money.
Bill Withers famous for the two classics 'Ain't No Sunshine' and 'Lean on Me' has recorded many memorable hits. His smooth yet subtle style is a blessing. This album brings together ten of his classics and is great as an introduction to Mr Withers' work. If you are unfamiliar with his work then it's the kind for mellowing out to and relaxing. 'Use Me' is a truly funky track. 'Ain't No Sunshine' is a classic ballad with a bluesy sound. 'Lean on Me' is one of the great pop tracks. 'Just the Two of Us' is a smooth track that you could drift off to. 'Lovely Day' has featured in many TV adverts and is a true summer track to listen to in the car with the windows down. 'Hello Like Before' is a bittersweet ballad. I love this album but true fans would be far better off buying individual albums as Bill did many more great tracks than are on this compilation. So, the one downside is the fact that it's only got ten tracks on it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Just The Two Of Us
2 Use Me
3 Ain't No Sunshine
4 Lovely Day
5 I Want To Spend The Night
6 Soul Shadows
7 Lean On Me
8 Grandma's Hands
9 Hello Like Before
10 Who Is He And What Is He To You