The Movie Songbook

Studio Album by released in 2010
The Movie Songbook's tracklist:
Xanadu
If I Can't Have You
God Bless the Child
Between the Bars
The Sound of Silence
What's New Pussycat?
The Windmills of Your Mind
Take Me With You
Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
Many Rivers to Cross
Oh, Pretty Woman
This One's From the Heart
Take My Breath Away

The Movie Songbook review

Life beyond Texas

The Scottish singer Sharleen Spiteri was for a long time famous to a wide audience only as the leader and founder of the Texas band. This formation with a long history rooted in the eighties and a remarkable discography suffered a number of problems in the new century. All of them came from musical disputes among the participants. They did not announce the Texas collapse, yet the activities of the band practically froze several years ago. This does not mean that the member of the band abandoned music practices. They simply focused on their own projects that seem for now more interesting to them than Texas. Sharleen proved most successful working alone. Having ultimate creative freedom as a solo performer she penned and produced the whole lot of the material for her debut solo effort called Melody (2008). This record had fine reviews in press and intrigued big masses of listeners who became interested in the singer’s further career development. In 2010, Spiteri released one more long player. This time, she decided to prepare a collection of covers based on popular themes from motion pictures. That is why the album was named The Movie Songbook.

A new sounding of old hits

Spiteri’s new work features thirteen compositions, all well-known both to movie and music lovers. Some of them had become popular even before they were heard as soundtracks. Such, for instance, is Xanadu, a hit originally performed by The Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton John. This is not only the album’s opener, but, probably, its best track. The singer’s voice in no way overshadows the main theme, yet highlights it. This is a wise solution because the melody of the song has been known to many people long before. Then follows another nice cover, If I Can’t Have You. We have a very impressive start here formed by the two songs, but composition number three, God Bless The Child, is clearly not on a par with them. It must be about the style of the original version. Spiteri’s singing manner is obviously not for jazz. The middle of the CD stores two excellent covers. First, you will hear Windmills Of Your Mind with awesome orchestral arrangements, and then you will be amazed by Take Me With You. Sharleen sang just like she did in the best Texas times and turned a mediocre Prince song into a diamond for a listener. The final tracks are equally good, but you wish you could here something more memorable and powerful in the end.

To sing someone’s songs or to write one’s own stuff?

The making of covers of compositions by established performers is a time-tested reliable option that guarantees a commercially nice outcome. Yet musicians usually take such activities up when they have already got a considerable discography with albums of their original songs and now it is not easy for them to find something to surprise the audience with. Here they find solution in releasing a collection of covers when titles of covered songs are the best promotion for the release. In case with Sharleen Spiteri, who has great song-writing skills, a step like this was a surprise. We can not know for sure what made the singer refuse to pen her own material and choose a less time-consuming work. However, when it comes to the quality of execution, we can not ask more from the album and Sharleen herself. Her voice is still strong; and the orchestra adds more enchantment to the whole record. The only minus here could be the fact that such an effort by itself can not be a mirror of a performer’s feelings and experiences. Sharleen simply can not render the emotions that enriched the original versions. If she comes back to writing new songs working on the next CD, we might forgive her this minor flaw.

Alex Bartholomew (18.03.2010)
Rate review2.00
Total votes - 11


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