Portraits: A Tribute to Great Women of Song

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Seven years after it was originally released under the title Indigo: Women of Song, Olivia Newton-John's 2004 tribute to the female artists who influenced her glittering music career randomly receives the repackaged treatment, with the exact same track list but a slightly misleading different name. Of all her 25 studio albums to gain some renewed attention, it seems odd that this mediocre collection of '60s-centric cover versions has been chosen ahead of her career-defining Physical or her mid-'90s return to form, Gaia. Nevertheless, for anyone who missed it first time round, it's another opportunity to hear the Australian icon valiantly tackle material by some of the most ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Seven years after it was originally released under the title Indigo: Women of Song, Olivia Newton-John's 2004 tribute to the female artists who influenced her glittering music career randomly receives the repackaged treatment, with the exact same track list but a slightly misleading different name. Of all her 25 studio albums to gain some renewed attention, it seems odd that this mediocre collection of '60s-centric cover versions has been chosen ahead of her career-defining Physical or her mid-'90s return to form, Gaia. Nevertheless, for anyone who missed it first time round, it's another opportunity to hear the Australian icon valiantly tackle material by some of the most iconic and celebrated singers of all time. Backed by multi-Grammy Award-winning producer Phil Ramone's lush orchestral arrangements, Newton-John's light and airy vocals are the perfect foil for the swooning lounge-pop of the Bacharach/David-penned "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "Alfie" (presumably inspired by the Dionne Warwick versions rather than Cilla Black's); "Send in the Clowns," the Stephen Sondheim show tune from A Little Night Music previously performed by Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, and Shirley Bassey; and the breezy bossa nova of Astrud Gilberto's "How Insensitive." But her clean-cut sweetly sung tones lack the emotion to pull off Julie London's torch song "Cry Me a River," the melancholy to do justice to the Carpenters' classic "Rainy Days and Mondays," and the soul of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone to really convince on the Gershwin standard "Summertime," while any attempt to answer back to Minnie Riperton's famous quote of "the blonde singing the bland" backfires thanks to her complete avoidance of the iconic upper-octave high note on "Lovin' You." The sleeve note's charming stories that explain each song's significance show that Newton-John undoubtedly possesses a genuine love of the source material, but it's just a shame that Portraits: A Tribute to Great Women of Song only occasionally converts that affection into something genuinely diverting.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/21/2011
  • Label: Green Hill
  • UPC: 792755579527
  • Catalog Number: 55795
  • Sales rank: 76,817

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Olivia Newton-John Primary Artist
Hendrik Meurkens Harmonica
Scott Kreitzer Tenor Saxophone
Bruce Dukov Concert Master
Vaneese Thomas Background Vocals
Lisa Fischer Background Vocals
Elena Barere Concert Master
Rob Mathes Piano
Dean Parks Guitar
Shawn Pelton Drums
Philippe Saisse Keyboards
Randy Waldman Keyboards
Brian O'Connor French Horn, Soloist
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Stephen Sondheim Composer
Pete Seeger Composer
Olivia Newton-John Liner Notes
Minnie Riperton Composer
Vinícius de Moraes Composer
Rob Mounsey String Conductor
Burt Bacharach Composer
Hal David Composer
Walter Donaldson Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Norman Gimbel Composer
Arthur Hamilton Composer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Antonio Carlos Jobim Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
Joel Moss Engineer
Phil Ramone Producer
Richard Rudolph Composer
Ed Thacker Engineer
Randy Waldman Arranger, Producer, String Arrangements, String Conductor
Jimmy Williams Composer
Paul Williams Composer
DuBose Heyward Composer
Roger Nichols Composer
Mark Valentine Engineer
Dorothy Heyward Composer
Larry Harrison Composer
Chad Allen Smith Graphic Design
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2013

    I certainly am not in agreement with the editorial B&N revie

    I certainly am not in agreement with the editorial B&N review.  This album is certainly a must for any ONJ fan, and far from "mediocre."  The combination of Olivia's take on the familiar melodies, supported by Ramone's production makes it a CD that I am very glad to have in my collection.    

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  • Posted April 1, 2013

    This is a terrific showcase for Newton-John's vocals. I would lo

    This is a terrific showcase for Newton-John's vocals. I would love to hear an entire album of Bossa nova tunes like 'How Insensitive' or the beautiful standard
    'Alfie', which is stunning.


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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews