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Following on from my recent review of Alicia Keys' MTV Unplugged album I decided to request another album in the series to be put up on the dooyoo site. Now it's up I thought I would write the review. I will post the reviews of the India Arie albums Love & Politics and Life & Relationships when I have had a chance to listen through them. So the review I am going to do today is of course Babyface - MTV Unplugged.
Just like the Alicia Keys MTV Unplugged album this one features a number of guest appearances. The following artists perform during this live concert, Eric Clapton, Shanice, K-Ci & JoJo, Sheila E. and Stevie Wonder as well as his brothers Kevon and Melvin Edmonds. The album features some of Babyface's own hits as well as ones he has written for other stars. There's also a couple of covers to boot. The album was recorded in New York City and was released in 1997
1.) Change the world
This opening track is featured on Eric Clapton's album Pilgrim, This is a fantastic live performance of this track which opens with the unmistakable guitar of Eric Clapton. Babyface's vocals are emotive and flow well along with the music, This is a very impressive start to the concert.
2.) Talk to Me
This is the second of two performances with Eric Clapton. This track was one that Babyface was working on when he recorded the previous track on Clapton's album Pilgrim. This is also a very flowing track which has some great music as well as great backing vocals. Another fantastic track.
3.) Whip Appeal
This is a slow ballad which has some great music and as Babyface's gentle vocals come in you relax and just listen to the song. Whip Appeal is a sexy, smooth track which is performed very well on this album. Another great performance.
4.) Breathe Again
This is a duet with Shanice Wilson on this ballad that was written for Toni Braxton during Babyface's hugely successful period during the early 1990's. Whilst Wilson does not have the vocal ability that Braxton does she prove's she has a very good voice. This is a fine performance.
5.) Exhale (Shoop Shoop) - Babyface & Beverly Crowder
This is Babyface with another female vocalist you may not have heard of, This track was originally done by Whitney Houston and this is a really great performance of this great track. Babyface and Beverly Crowder both prove their vocal talent on this great performance.
6.) I'll make love to you
This is a live version of This Babyface penned and produced legendary Boyz II Men track. This version features his brothers Kevon and Marlon on vocals as well. The music has a great quality about it.
7.) End of The Road
This hugely successful track was co written by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Antonio with the massive songwriting duo of "L.A." Reid and Daryl Simmons. I love the musical backing of this track as it has a great end of show sound when everyone leaves the floor after the performance when the music is still playing and everyone's still singing. This is not quite as great as the Boyz II Men version but is a very very good version of the track indeed.
8.) I Care about you
This features his brothers along with KCI & JoJo. I am not that keen on this as it feels a little dated but it is sung very well with feeling from all involved and is much better than on the studio version. Not one of his best ballads but a decent enough track.
9.) Day (That You Gave Me A Son)
This is a really beautiful ballad paying homage to his then wife Tracey Edmonds for the birth of his son. This features great vocals from Babyface and is a really great track. This has several part to it but it keeps the same intimate quality all the way through.
10.) Gone too Soon
This is a brilliant cover of Michael Jackson's classic from Dangerous written by Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan. It features Stevie Wonder who comes in after the opening couple of minutes of Babyface. This is a brilliant performance of this track and shows two great artists together.
11.) How come, How long
This track was originally a duet with Stevie Wonder so it would make sense that Stevie Wonder appears again on this track. This is a fabulous live version of one of my favourite Babyface tracks. If you have not heard this one it's about an abusive relationship when people did nothing and the woman was eventually murdered by her abusive partner. There is a very strange vocal part from Stevie Wonder at the end of this track.
This is a fabulous MTV Unplugged performance. Babyface performs these songs with some very talented artists most notably Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder. Recorded in 1997 this album still sounds current today and is one of my favourite live albums I have in my album collection. A very good episode in the MTV Unplugged series. I would give this album four and a half stars but as I can't and four just would not do it justice I have given it five.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Change The World - Babyface & Eric Clapton
2 Talk To Me - Babyface & Eric Clapton
3 Whip Appeal - Babyface
4 Breathe Again - Babyface & Shanice Wilson
5 Exhale (Shoop Shoop) - Babyface & Beverly Crowder
6 I'll Make Love To You/End Of The Road - Babyface
7 I Care About You - Babyface & K-Ci/JoJo/Melvin Edmonds/Kevon Edmonds
8 Day (That You Gave Me A Son) - Babyface
9 Gone Too Soon - Babyface & Stevie Wonder
10 How Come How Long - Babyface & Stevie Wonde